Los Angeles police are investigating whether the audio of racist comments made by city officials was recorded illegally.
Police say they’ve listened to the recordings and the tape has a timestamp that shows it was shot at a time that doesn’t match with the time the recording was made.
Two audio recordings, posted to YouTube and posted by an LA Times reporter, were made public this week by LAPD Cmdr. Andrew Smith.
In the recordings played on a car’s loudspeaker, public officials can be heard calling President-elect Donald Trump and his supporters “animals” and talking about how they could kill people at rallies.
Some who are recorded making the comments say they were recorded with their own cellphones to keep their words secret.
The recordings were made prior to the election, and a number of public meetings about police issues were held in the weeks leading up to November’s election.
Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck said Thursday he’s investigating the audio recording made by Cmdr. Andrew Smith of the LAPD. Smith’s recordings made public by the LA Times this week depict comments that were made by public officials of the Los Angeles Police Department and by officials of the Los Angeles Mayor’s Office of Special Events, on recordings made at meetings and at public events.
Smith’s recordings, made at a private meeting he attended, were the first public audio of the recorded comment.
“We are now looking at additional recordings that were made at a private meeting,” Beck said. “We are looking into how those recordings were made and whether they were recorded illegally.”
Smith’s comments were a portion of a longer recording that included comments from Mayor Eric Garcetti and other city officials.
The mayor’s office released the portion of the interview audio earlier this week.
On Friday, Smith responded to the Los Angeles Times, stating his recordings were taken by “someone’s mobile police monitoring device.”
He said he’s not sure how the comments were recorded, but he believes the tape was made illegally.
“The Mayor, when he invited me to the meeting, he asked me not to take any recordings (of the meeting) and I did,” Smith said in a statement on Friday. “I followed his instructions.”
However, he said that he’s not sure whether the recording was made by his own mobile