In what sounds like a Chappelle's Show sketch come to life, a black man who wore a Ku Klux Klan hood to a public meeting will receive a settlement of $215,000 from the city of Los Angeles.
City Council members unanimously voted on Wednesday to settle Michael Hunt's free-speech lawsuit, the Los Angeles Times reports. Hunt said that his constitutional rights were violated when he was kicked out of a Department of Recreation and Parks Board of Commissioners meeting in 2011. He came into the meeting wearing the Ku Klux Klan hood and a t-shirt with a racial slur, and was ejected after ignoring requests by the commission’s president, Barry Sanders, to remove both.
Hunt said he wears the provocative items because he has co-opted the images, and is protesting against the local government "engaging in discrimination." "These rules of decorum should not be used to silence people unless they engage in actual disruption of the meeting," Hunt's attorney, Stephen Rohde, said. "And actual disruption doesn’t mean upsetting people or offending people."
The L.A. City Council decided in the end that it was easier to pay Hunt now than risk having to pay his attorney fees. "This is one of those things where you hold your nose and vote," Councilman Bernard C. Parks said.