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L.A. City Council Critic Accused of Racist Threats Now Facing Assault Weapon Possession Charge

An Encino attorney who was accused last year of making racist threats against Los Angeles City Council President Herb Wesson now faces a criminal charge for illegally possessing an assault weapon, the city attorney’s office said Wednesday.

Wayne Spindler, who frequently appears at City Council meetings, was arrested last year after turning in a public comment card that included drawings of a burning cross, a stick figure hanging from a tree, and a sign labeling Wesson with a racial slur.

Wesson, who is African American, described the card as a threatening reminder of the history of racist attacks on the black community. Spindler said that his drawings were satirical, arguing that images such as the hanging person symbolized the Department of Water and Power “lynching” Angelenos with high rates.

Prosecutors in the district attorney’s office ultimately declined to file charges against Spindler, saying there wasn’t enough evidence to prove his comment card was a threat. But city lawyers obtained a restraining order that barred Spindler from coming near Wesson’s home, vehicle or city office.

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