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Update: Retired LAPD Detective Caught On Camera Using The N-Word After Reported Traffic Accident (Video)

12:54 PM PDT on March 16, 2021

March 16, 2021 10:30 PM update: L.A. TACO spoke to the person that recorded the now viral video of former LAPD Detective John Motto engaging in a racist tirade. We've also included statements from both the LAPD and LASD.

[dropcap size=big]A[/dropcap]n alarming video of a retired Los Angeles police detective using racist language after a traffic accident in Santa Clarita, CA is circulating on social media. 

A Twitter video posted by @WhatUpSCV, opens with former LAPD Central Bureau Homicide Detective John Motto saying to a young Black man, “Oh but you can say nigger and I can’t?” A woman pulls Motto back before ordering the Black man to go back to their car. “Are you fucking serious right now?” The young Black man says before he begins pacing. Moments later, Motto tells him, “Go back into your little cage until the monkey controller gets here.”

Later Motto approaches the man again and says, “Are you going to take your ID out, yes or no? Are you going to take your identification out?” When the man asks a group of bystanders if they heard Motto call him the n-word. Motto interjects, “No, he started the nigger thing because he is the dumb nigger.”

According to LAPD Officer Drake Madison with the LAPD Media Relations Division, Motto retired in May 2020 as a detective assigned to Operations Central Bureau Homicide. “As a former employee, he is no longer subject to disciplinary action by the department.” Officer Madison told L.A. TACO, “the LAPD has no disciplinary authority over his conduct.”

On Tuesday, L.A. TACO spoke with Uriel Barraza, the person that recorded the now viral video of former LAPD Detective John Motto engaging in a racist tirade. Barraza told L.A. TACO that he was out on his lunch break in the early afternoon last Saturday when he observed a Scion coupe trying to pull over to the right side of Valencia Boulevard after seemingly getting into a traffic accident. According to Barraza, Motto pulled behind the Scion in a lifted black pickup truck and began honking. “[Motto] pulled up next to him, screamed at him then pulled up forward, parked in front of him, got out of the [truck] and just started going off on him.” Barraza said it was unclear if Motto was involved in the accident or just a witness. “I didn’t see anything on the truck.” At the time Barraza says he didn’t know that Motto was a former Los Angeles police officer.

According to Barraza, at least two Los Angeles County Sheriff's responded to the incident. In a statement sent to L.A. TACO on Tuesday evening, the Sheriff's department said: "Today, we became aware of the social media post and the racist language which was used following the collision. We have taken a report documenting the incident. This is an ongoing investigation and we cannot provide further details at this time."

In a statement released Tuesday afternoon by the LAPD, without mentioning Motto explicitly, the department acknowledged that an internal investigation has been opened "to ensure there is no current Department nexus to this incident." They added, "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.”

According to a LinkedIn profile, Motto was a 33 year veteran with the department that earned more than $265,000 per year in total pay and benefits during his final years of policing.

Late on Tuesday evening, the LAPD confirmed that the Los Angeles District Attorney's Office will be reviewing 370 cases handled by retired LAPD Detective John Motto, following our reporting.

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