LAPD Investigating After Retired Detective John Motto Caught On Camera Using Racial Slur

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.

Video Transcript

- "Now at 4:30", a racially heated argument between a retired LAPD homicide detective and a black man has led to the review of hundreds of cases now handled by that former detective. That argument erupted after a traffic accident involving both men.

- The fallout goes far beyond an exchange of insurance cards. KCAL 9's Hermela Aregawi has details.

JOHN MOTTO: [bleep] thing because he is the dumb [bleep].

HERMELA AREGAWI: What appears to be a car accident between a retired LAPD detective and a young, Black man turns into this heated confrontation in the Santa Clarita Valley that now has a district attorney's office involved.

GEORGE GASCON: For any of you that have seen the video, it's horrific, right, because it really illustrates, you know, incredibly racist attitudes by this individual.

HERMELA AREGAWI: In the Saturday incident caught on video and posted on social media Tuesday, the retired detective, who LAPD confirmed as John Motto appears to be yelling racial slurs including this.

JOHN MOTTO: Go back in your little cage.

HERMELA AREGAWI: The work record of Motto, who LAPD says retired from their Operation Central Bureau Homicide last May, is now under review by the DA's office. The office says they have begun reviewing more than 300 cases, many of them homicide cases, that Motto was involved in during his 33 years with the Department.

GEORGE GASCON: Under the law we are required, once we become aware of someone having racist tendencies as in the case of this individual, we have to notify the defense lawyers in all the cases that this individual may have been a witness or participated in the investigation.

HERMELA AREGAWI: Civil rights attorney Dewitt Lacey says, these are some of the major red flags the investigation may look into.

DEWITT LACEY: They're going to question whether or not evidence was planted. They're going to question whether or not he ignored evidence from people of color, Black folks in particular. They're going to question the type of people that he went after.

HERMELA AREGAWI: The LAPD says, as a former employee, Motto is not subject to disciplinary action, but they are working with the DA's office to review the cases.

JOHN MOTTO: Are you going to take your ID out?

HERMELA AREGAWI: The DA's office says it's beginning its review with pending, cases and then it'll work its way backwards. We tried to reach out to Motto through phone numbers and an address listed for him but did not hear back. In Valencia, Hermela Aregawi, "KCAL 9 News".