VALENCIA (CBSLA) — The Los Angeles Police Department is investigating after a retired detective was caught on camera using a racial slur during a confrontation with a Black man.
The video, posted to social media, was reportedly taken Saturday following a crash in Valencia and shows the former detective, identified by LAPD as John Motto, demanding the other man provide his driver’s license and yelling a racial slur at the man.
“For any of you that have seen this video, it’s horrific,” L.A. County District Attorney George Gascón said Wednesday. “It really illustrates, you know, incredibly racist attitudes by this individual.”
On Tuesday, Gascón announced that his office would review 370 old cases in which the homicide detective was reportedly a witness.
The video in question is disturbing & involves a former homicide detective exhibiting racist tendencies. @LADAOffice is taking immediate action & has identified several cases where this individual was a witness. We are in the process of notifying defense attorneys in such cases. https://t.co/ksQhGuo1t4
— George Gascón (@GeorgeGascon) March 17, 2021
“Under the law, we are required, once we are aware of someone having racist tendencies, as in the case of the individual, we have to notify all the defense lawyers in all the cases that this individual may have been a witness or participated in the investigation,” Gascón said Wednesday.
LAPD said Motto retired from the Operations Central Bureau Homicide last May and that the department had launched its own investigation.
What is seen in the video is not reflective of the thousands of hard working and dedicated men and women of the Los Angeles Police Department.
— LAPD HQ (@LAPDHQ) March 17, 2021
LAPD said Motto was not subject to disciplinary action as a former employee, but said the department was working with the D.A.’s office to review the cases.
“They’re going to question whether or not evidence was planted,” civil rights attorney DeWitt Lacey said. “They’re gonna question whether or not he ignored evidence from people of color, Black folks in particular. They’re gonna question the type of people he went after.”
The D.A.’s office said it would begin its review with pending cases and work its way backward. CBS Los Angeles attempted to reach out to Motto, but did not immediately hear back.