Did a cop’s racist remark need to be disclosed? For a prisoner, the answer took years

Richard Lathan wasn’t sure how to react when he got a letter in July informing him that the Los Angeles police detective who helped put him in prison for murder had made a racist remark about Black people.

A glimmer of optimism that the revelation could win him a new trial collided with the profound anger he felt about the more than three decades he has spent in prison for a crime he says he didn’t commit. Lathan had always suspected the detective, Brian McCartin, targeted him simply because he was Black and a gang member.

And something else about the letter bothered Lathan: It said McCartin, who is now retired, made the remarks in 2014. The Los Angeles County district attorney’s office, however, didn’t notify Lathan about them until this summer — eight years after prosecutors…

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Written by Bourbiza Mohamed

I have 26 years of experience as a professional writer and editor and have been working as a full time freelancer since 2011. I am originally from Casablanca, Morocco, and I graduated from Qatar University with a degree in journalism. I have worked for newspapers, magazines, news agencies, websites. I speak fluent Arabic, French, English, Russian and Spanish.

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