In today’s episode of White People Gon’ Learn Ta’ Day, a retired Los Angeles police detective got himself caught on camera last week being racist AF toward a Black man after the two got into a minor car accident in Santa Clarita, Calif. Now, hundreds of old cases that the former homicide detective was involved in are under a new spotlight and are being reviewed to ensure that people aren’t sitting behind bars because some Klan-ish cop weaponized his racism while investigating their cases.
From CBS Los Angeles:
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.
In the video, Motto can be heard calling the unidentified Black man who has clearly had enough of his shit a “dumb nigger” and telling him to “Go back into your little cage until the monkey controller gets here.”
Plenty of Black people have seen this before. A white person who would likely swear to Klan-robe Jesus that their body is racist bone-free gets into a volatile confrontation with someone who just happens to be a negro and the spirit of Michael Richards’ career just comes flying right out of them.
But Motto—whose surname is clearly short of “My Motto is ‘Make Lynchings Great Again’” (I’m guessing)—is not just some run-of-the-mill bigot. This is a man who once had a badge and gun and was tasked with enforcing the law in an unbiased manner. And I’ve written up enough stories that involved wrongfully convicted Black men spending years and even decades behind bars because racist law enforcement officials were involved in their cases to know that every case Motto ever touched needs a fresh look.
“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, CBS reports.
The LAPD also released a statement saying that Motto “retired in May 2020 as a detective assigned to Operations Central Bureau Homicide,” and that “there has been an internal investigation started.”
And this, my friends, is why we’re in the midst of a fight against systemic racism in policing. This man had a whole career before his true colors came out. Imagine how many times he was considered to be one of the non-bunch-spoiling good apples while he still had a badge.