Councilman Paul Koretz, a Democrat who has represented Los Angeles’s 5th District for over a decade, used an expletive when addressing protesters despite his reputation of being mild-mannered.
“I would just say, lastly, to the disruptors and protesters who have done their best to make it difficult for us to do our work in the last two and a half years, in their words: I yield the rest of my time and f*** you,” Koretz said.
The phrase echoed the words of a public commenter in 2020 in the aftermath of George Floyd’s death. Jeremy Frisch ended his tirade at Los Angeles Police Chief Michel Moore with the words, “I yield my time. F*** you,” during a LA Police Commission meeting. The comments came after Moore said that Floyd’s death was also on the hands of the people who burglarized businesses during the protests.
Koretz added that he had not told his wife or anyone else that he was going to curse at the end of his speech, but the audience members, including fellow councilmembers and staffers, responded to Koretz’s F-bomb with cheers, laughter, and applause, including staffers jumping up and down, according to the Los Angeles Times.
“Koretz out,” Council President Paul Krekorian said. “I’ve been surprised by a lot of things in my times in the chamber. I don’t know if I’ve ever been as surprised as at what I just heard.”
The surprising expletive was a remark to the protesters that had attended City Council meetings over the past few months who called for the resignations of Councilmen Kevin de Leon and Gil Cedillo. A 2021 recording of de Leon, Cedillo, and former Councilwoman Nury Martinez making racist and homophobic comments was leaked in October.
Councilwoman Katy Young Yaroslavsky will take over Koretz’s seat. Koretz reached his term limit this year after serving on the City Council since 2009.