‘Defund the Police’ Councilman Condemned For Hypocrisy
Radical leftist Los Angeles City Councilman Hugo Soto-Martinez has been a vocal supporter of the “Defund the Police” movement, yet one of his staffers was caught requesting that the police increase patrols to protect his car.
Soto-Martinez is facing criticism after his staffer reportedly sent a request to the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) on Wednesday night to increase patrols in the area where a white Lexus had broken down — which police believed belonged to the councilman.
A photo shared on Instagram by the popular account @streetpeopleoflosangeles — which was also published in Los Angeles Magazine — appeared to depict an officer’s mobile computer screen displaying instructions to protect the councilman’s car.
“EXTRA PATROL THOROUGHT NIGHT FOR PARKED WHITE LEXUS BELONGING TO COUNCILMEMBER. VEH BROKE DOWN,” the screen read.
According to Los Angeles Magazine’s Jason McGahan, “By Friday, the image had migrated to Instagram and Twitter, where it became ammunition for Soto-Martinez’s enemies in L.A.’s never ending culture wars.”
The councilman’s deputy communications director, Nick Barnes, released a statement to the news outlet in response to the story.
“It’s come to our attention that a deputy staffer has had some contact with the LAPD regarding his personal vehicle,” the statement read. “We are investigating this matter internally and will be taking appropriate action…Council member Soto-Martinez is very upset, as this does not reflect the values of transparency, responsible governance, and being accountable to the community that elected him.”
Meanwhile, it turns out that the staffer who called the police — who was later identified as David Mai — appeared to be driving the Lexus, according to a broadcast from Fox LA.
According to a tweet from December 12, Soto-Martinez apparently drives a Prius.
The request from the councilman’s office to provide additional police protection for the Lexus prompted accusations of hypocrisy against Soto-Martinez, especially in light of his past comments attacking law enforcement.
A few weeks after George Floyd died in May 2020, Soto-Martinez posted a tweet with a photo of a protest, writing: “We are not going to stop until we defund the police.”
The councilman, who the Los Angeles Times has reported is a former “elected leader of the L.A. chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America,” has also claimed in a tweet that the “LAPD has killed hundreds.”
In another tweet, Soto-Martinez falsely claimed that “cops kill POC [people of color] with impunity.”
Fox LA also reported that the councilman had checked a box on a city council questionnaire identifying himself as a police and prison abolitionist.
In an interview with Fox LA, Sgt. Jerretta Sandos — vice president of the Los Angeles Police Protective League (LAPPL) — condemned Soto-Martinez’s hypocrisy.
“Police officers have so much more to do than to go and do X patrol on anyone’s vehicle,” Sandos said. “When you are anti-police, abolish the police… then why are you calling for help?”