The Los Angeles Police Department has served search warrants in its investigation into the leaked conversation that led to the City Hall racism scandal, to determine if the conversation was recorded illegally, the Los Angeles Times reported Tuesday.
It remains unknown who recorded the year-old, racism-filled conversation that took place at the offices of the L.A. County Federation of Labor or who leaked it -- triggering a series of events that led Nury Martinez to step down as City Council president and then quit the council altogether, and Kevin de Leon and Gil Cedillo to face relentless calls for them to resign.
The Times, citing sources who spoke anonymously because of the ongoing investigation, reported that the warrants were for several social media accounts, including the Reddit account on which the audio was originally posted.
More warrants are expected to be served during the investigation, the sources told The Times. The warrants -- seeking communications over the last few weeks -- were served by the LAPD's Major Crimes Division, which opened the investigation last month.
Police Chief Michel Moore said last month that the Major Crimes Division launched the investigation at the request of "individuals that were present at that meeting," which included former Council President Nury Martinez, former President of the L.A. County Federation of Labor Ron Herrera and Council members Kevin de Leon and Gil Cedillo.
A spokesperson for de Leon later said the council member did not request an investigation.
The conversation first appeared on Reddit before being removed from the social news aggregation, content rating and discussion website. California is a "two-party consent" state, meaning that all parties -- not necessarily just two -- participating in a conversation must give their approval for the conversation to be recorded. Violators could face both civil and criminal penalties.
Among other comments in the recorded conversation, Martinez belittled Councilman Mike Bonin, who is white and has a Black son, and criticized the child for his behavior at a Martin Luther King Jr. Day parade.
De Leon also criticized Bonin, saying "Mike Bonin won't f---ing ever say peep about Latinos. He'll never say a f---ing word about us." De Leon also compared Bonin's handling of his son at the MLK Parade to one of Martinez's designer handbags
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