Abcarian: Almost no one was spared in that racist conversation among top L.A. Latino officials.
The Times’ Kevin Johnson said that his investigation uncovered evidence that “blamed the LAPD for the racist speech”.
The Times interviewed former L.A. City Council member Gil Cedillo, who was quoted by Johnson as saying, “When they were talking to council members who they thought would be receptive to them, [the department] reached out to one particular man.”
Cedillo said he recalled being called “dirty Mexicans.”
Cedillo said he was reluctant to talk about the incident for fear of losing his job.
Cedillo did not name the accused but the LAPD confirmed today Cedillo was the individual who called him a “dirty Mexican.” Cedillo was the top Hispanic official at the LAPD.
In his interview with Johnson, Cedillo said he was concerned about losing federal funding, but he did not back down.
“I made my position clear, and I don’t regret those comments,” Cedillo said
Cedillo said he and others were concerned the department was not going to be as serious in addressing immigration as he wanted it to be.
“They talked about the need for more resources, but they were talking just to talk and not really trying to get serious about immigration,” Cedillo said.
LAPD officials have said they have not reached out to Cedillo, and that they were not aware that he was making the racist remarks.
The Times’ Johnson said he found the comments unacceptable and that he thinks Cedillo had “overreacted.”
Cedillo said he regretted his comments and he was going to apologize to the police chief, Chief Charlie Beck and the public in general.
“I’m sorry [Beck] is going to have to deal with the racist comments,” Cedillo said.
Johnson said he thinks L.A.’s Latino community is starting to understand the department is not in control of its officers.
“The LAPD cannot take back white officers, black officers or even Latinos themselves. They can only take back themselves,” he said.