LAPD serves search warrants in City Hall racism leak probe; protesters again disrupt council meeting

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Wednesday, November 30, 2022
LAPD serves search warrants in City Hall racism leak investigation
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The Los Angeles Police Department has served search warrants in its investigation into the leaked conversation that led to the City Hall racism scandal, to determine if the conversation was recorded illegally

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- The Los Angeles Police Department has served search warrants in its investigation into the leaked conversation that led to the City Hall racism scandal, to determine if the conversation was recorded illegally, the agency confirmed Tuesday.

One of the search warrants "has been initiated to Reddit in order to identify the person responsible for posting the recording," the LAPD said in a statement, referring to the popular social media website.

Police Chief Michel Moore said last month that the Major Crimes Division launched the investigation at the request of "individuals that were present at that meeting," which included former Council President Nury Martinez, former President of the L.A. County Federation of Labor Ron Herrera and Council members Kevin de León and Gil Cedillo. A spokesperson for de León later said the council member did not request an investigation.

It remains unknown who recorded the year-old, racism-filled conversation that took place at the offices of the L.A. County Federation of Labor, and who leaked it -- triggering a series of events that led Martinez to step down as City Council president and then quit the council altogether, and de León and Cedillo to face relentless calls for them to resign as well.

The conversation first appeared on Reddit before being removed from the social news aggregation, content rating and discussion website.

Meanwhile on Tuesday, protests again caused an uproar at at the City Council meeting.

"I'm instructing you to sit down so the meeting can proceed," City Council President Paul Krekorian told the demonstrators. "Everyone who's standing up is now actually disrupting this meeting."

Krekorian ordered the protesters to be removed from the council chambers. The demonstrators are angry that De León and Gil Cedillo have not resigned despite widespread calls for them to do so.

"Mr. Cedillo and Mr. De León, both of you have irreparably destroyed and betrayed the trust between you and your voters, the voters and constituents in your district," Pastor J. Edgar Boyd of First AME Church said later at a news conference. "You have shamed your constituents. You have shamed the city of Los Angeles.

Among other comments in the recorded conversation, Martinez belittled Councilman Mike Bonin, who is white and has a Black son, and criticized the child for his behavior at a Martin Luther King Day parade -- saying Bonin's son was misbehaving on a float, which might have tipped over if she and the other women on the float didn't step in to "parent this kid."

"They're raising him like a little white kid," Martinez said. "I was like, This kid needs a beatdown. Let me take him around the corner and then I'll bring him back."'

Martinez also called the child "ese changuito," Spanish for "that little monkey."

De León also criticized Bonin, saying "Mike Bonin won't f-----g ever say peep about Latinos. He'll never say a f-----g word about us."

De León also compared Bonin's handling of his son at the MLK Parade to "when Nury brings her little yard bag or the Louis Vuitton bag."

"Su negrito, like on the side," Martinez added, using a Spanish term for a Black person that's considered demeaning by many.

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