Retired LAPD detective filmed telling Black teen ‘go back to your cage’

District Attorney now reviewing 370 of the ex-officer’s cases after racial slur incident in California

Graeme Massie
Los Angeles
Wednesday 17 March 2021 19:42 GMT
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A retired LAPD detective was caught on camera telling a young Black man to “go back to your cage.”

Now authorities say that 370 cases that the former officer, identified as John Motto, worked in his 33-year career will be reviewed after he was filmed using racial slurs following a minor car accident in Santa Clarita, California.

“Go back into your little cage until the monkey controller gets here,” Mr Motto was filmed telling the young man in the video that went viral on Twitter.

The video started with Mr Motto and the young man arguing next to two cars that were seemingly involved in the accident.

“Oh but you can say n***** and I can’t?” Mr Motto asked him.

“Are you serious?” The young man asked Mr Motto, who was with a woman as the person filming the incident urged him to “just walk away.”

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Mr Motto then told the man to “Go back to your cage.”

The young man then walked to a group of bystanders and asked them: “Y’all hear this s*** right? Y’all hear this?”

The former officer then asked the young man if he was going to show him his identification.

The man then turned to the group and asked them if they heard Mr Motto use the racial slur towards him.

“No, he started the n***** thing because he is the dumb n*****. Yeah I said it second, right after you,” said Mr Motto.

He then again demanded to see the young man’s identification and threatened to call the sheriff’s office.

“Get the f***ing sheriff here! It’s your goddamn fault anyway,” the young man told him before the video ended.

The LAPD confirmed in a statement that it had launched an internal investigation into the incident.

“The individual is not a current member of the LAPD and retired in May 2020 as a detective assigned to Operations Central Bureau Homicide,” they stated.

“To ensure there is no current Department nexus to this incident, there has been an internal investigation started. 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.”

Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascon condemned the incident as “disturbing” and said that the former officer exhibited “racist tendencies.”

Mr Gascon added that his office has identified cases in which Mr Motto had appeared as a witness.

‘We are in the process of notifying defence attorneys in such cases,’ added Mr Gascon.

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