State Watch

LAPD investigating recording of racist remarks in council members’ discussion

Los Angeles Police
Associated Press

The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) has initiated a criminal investigation into the recording made public earlier this month that captured racist remarks during a meeting between City Council members and a labor leader.

LAPD Chief Michel Moore said in a press availability on Tuesday that the department is probing an allegation of eavesdropping on the meeting between then-Council President Nury Martinez, council members Kevin de Léon and Gil Cedillo, and former L.A. County Federation of Labor head Ron Herrera. 

Moore said the department will bring its results to the appropriate prosecuting agency once the investigation is completed. 

He said the people present at the meeting approached the LAPD on Friday and requested that it investigate the recording of their conversation. He said the LAPD immediately dispatched officers to conduct interviews with the individuals recorded. 

“Our investigation will continue as to the facts and circumstances of how the meeting occurred and information from the victims of why they believe that the recording was unlawful and also understanding from them the assertion that it was not with their permission,” Moore said. 

He said the department will also look into how the recording was made and who was responsible for it, if possible. He said the department does not have a suspect in mind. 

Moore said he has communicated with California Attorney General Rob Bonta (D) to inform him of the investigation, and he said he wanted to ensure the LAPD’s investigation does not conflict with the attorney general office’s investigation of the meeting itself

Martinez resigned from her position on the City Council, both as president and as a member, after the recording showed her making several racist remarks. 

She said in reference to L.A. District Attorney George Gascón (D), “F— that guy, he’s with the Blacks” and criticized the Black son of a fellow council member, saying, “They’re raising him like a little white kid, which, I was like, this kid needs a beatdown.” 

The others present at the meeting responded by laughing. 

Cedillo and de Léon have so far refused to resign their seats in the aftermath of the recording being publicized. Herrera has resigned his position leading the labor federation.

The meeting took place at the offices of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, which has called the audio leak “illegal,” the Los Angeles Times reported.

The Hill has reached out to the labor group for comment.

Tags Gil Cedillo LA City Council LAPD Los Angeles Michel Moore Nury Martinez Nury Martinez racist remarks Rob Bonta

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