State Watch

California prosecutor defends saying racial slur while quoting hate speech

Associated Press/Stefanie Dazio

Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer on Wednesday said he will “not be deterred” by people attacking him for saying the N-word during a 2019 speech, which the attorney called “disingenuous political attacks.”

Spitzer gave the speech at the Iranian American Bar Association in 2019. During his remarks, in which he referenced a hate crime case his office had recently prosecuted, he said the N-word multiple times while quoting insults hurled at a Black male by a person he described as a white supremacist, according to a video posted on the association’s page in May 2020.

Spitzer defended the comments on Wednesday.

“Hate is ugly and the words haters use and the violence they commit is even uglier,” he told The Los Angeles Times in a statement. “It is hard to hear and it is hard to look at, but unless we confront it head on, hate will continue to fester and people of color will continue to suffer at the hands of haters.”

Spitzer said he was “incredibly proud of the work we do to prosecute hate crimes and keep Orange County safe for everyone” and that he “will not be deterred from that important work by disingenuous political attacks,” according to the statement provided to the Times.

The Hill has reached out to Spitzer for comment.

The district attorney is also accused of making racist comments when discussing a murder case last year, ABC 7 reported. According to a memo obtained by the news outlet, Spitzer made the comments when discussing the case of Jamon Buggs, who was accused of murdering two people over alleged jealousy for dating his ex-girlfriend, who is white.

“He knows many Black people who get themselves out of their bad circumstances and bad situations by only dating white women,” Spitzer allegedly said, according to ABC 7.

Spitzer also defended those comments to the outlet.

“I am not perfect, but an inartful comment during an hours-long debate in a double murder case is not reflective of my core beliefs or the years I have spent fighting to make our society more equitable and our communities safe for everyone,” he said in a statement.

And on Tuesday, Tracy Miller, a former attorney under Spitzer, accused the district attorney of overseeing a hostile work environment and firing her for protecting women who reported sexual harassment, the Orange County Register reported on Wednesday.

Spitzer said Miller and another employee making similar accusations were pushing “coordinated efforts to embarrass me,” the Register reported.

Tags California Orange County Orange County District Attorney racist comments Todd Spitzer
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