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A video making rounds on social media shows a retired Los Angeles police detective hurling racial insults and calling a Black man the n-word after a car accident.

L.A. Taco first reported the event which shows former LAPD Central Bureau Homicide Detective John Motto, accosting a Black man in Santa Clarita, California on Saturday.

As a result of the viral video, the Los Angeles District Attorney announced it has launched an investigation into the 370 cases that Motto handled before he retired, along with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, and the LAPD.

Due to Motto’s employment status, he is no longer liable to disciplinary action from the LAPD the department issued in a statement. Motto reportedly worked for the LAPD for over 33 years and retired in May 2020.

Warning: Video contains explicit and triggering language.

In the video capturing the Saturday incident, Motto can be heard saying, “Oh but you can say n—–r and I can’t?” directing his statement to the Black man. A blonde woman with sunglasses pulls Motto towards a black truck and yells for the other man to go back towards his car. “Are you f—–g serious right now?” the man says while walking towards the couple. As the man turns to his car Motto says, “Go back into your little cage until the monkey controller gets here.”

Motto demands to see the man’s ID, who walks towards the person recording the video and asks if they witnessed Motto calling him the n-word.  “No, he started the n—-r thing because he is the dumb n—-r,” Motto says as he walks and aggressively points towards the man.

The man who captured the video, Uriel Barraza, told L.A. Taco he was on his lunch break when he heard the commotion outside. He claims he observed Motto was visibly upset after the accident when he pulled up to the side of the man’s car and “screamed at him.”

Barraza said Motto drove his car forward, “parked in front of him, got out of the [truck] and just started going off on him.”

Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascon “condemned” the act and said his office has began to notify defense attorneys in cases Motto was involved with.

“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,” the LAPD said in a statement. In addition the statement confirmed that Gascon’s office had made contact.

The video adds another glaring reminder as to why it’s difficult for Black communities to believe that anywhere a police officer is, is a safe space.


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