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Todd Spitzer orange county attorney racist comments on Jamon Buggs

Internal memos say that the SoCal district attorney made racist comments about a Black man's case.

Prosecutors in Southern California say that Black men "get out of their bad situations and bad situations" by only dating "white women."

During a meeting on Oct. 1, Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer said that a Black man should be put to death, the Los Angeles Times said.

Soon after Spitzer fired the man who wrote the memos, Ebrahim Bayteh, the memos were leaked. Bayteh was fired for a different reason.

When Baytieh wrote that the prosecution team was talking about Jamon Buggs, the L.A. Times said that was what they were talking about at the time. The man accused of killing two people, Darren Bartch and Wendi Miller, is 47-year-old Black man Buggs. He is accused of killing the two people in April 2019.

When Todd Spitzer spoke at a news conference in Santa Ana, California, on February 4, 2020, this picture was taken.
When Todd Spitzer spoke at a news conference in Santa Ana, California, on February 4, 2020, this picture was taken.

He had a history of domestic violence, and Spitzer asked if all of his previous victims were white, the L.A. Times said, according to the New York Times. There is no point in making a difference, Baytieh said. Making one could break California's Racial Justice Act of 2020.

According to Baytieh, "Spitzer disagreed with what Baytieh said. He said that he knows many Black people who get out of bad situations and bad situations by only dating "white women."

He told the L.A. Times on Wednesday that he said black men date white women to "raise their stature."

During the meeting, Baytieh took notes. She thought Spitzer's comments should be reported to the judge and maybe Buggs' defense lawyers, Voice of OC reported. He talked about it with two other prosecutors in December, and they agreed with him. This led to a follow-up memo that went to Spitzer.

According to BuzzFeed News, all of the documents were sent to the judge under seal.

In late January, Spitzer took Baytieh and the entire original prosecution team out of the case and told them not to talk about it with the new team, the L.A. Times said. The new group quickly filed to get Buggs to spend the rest of his life without parole, instead of getting him killed.

Rick Welsh, the lawyer for Brenda Partch's mother Brenda, told Buzzfeed News that Darren Partch's mother Brenda "wanted the death penalty." Instead, it looks like "in order to hide these inappropriate, racist, and shocking statements that Todd Spitzer made in that meeting, he chose life with no chance of parole instead of the death penalty."

As the L.A. Times reported, Spitzer said that Baytieh was fired in connection with an unrelated 2010 case in which he should have turned over evidence to defense lawyers. Baytieh said that he always kept the "highest ethical standards."

Both men are running for office. Spitzer is running for reelection as district attorney, and Baytieh is running for an Orange County Superior Court Judge job.


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