Profanity Use at Board of Supervisors Meetings on the Rise This Year

Armando Herman, who goes by "Herman Herman," at the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors meeting April 9. (Credit: Al Seib/Los Angeles Times)

For decades, the weekly meetings of the Board of Supervisors have been family-friendly, orderly affairs — humdrum public discussions of the appointments, motions and ordinances that keep Los Angeles County’s $30-billion government in motion.

Lately, though, those discussions have turned offensive.

To the exasperation of supervisors, historically called the “five little kings” for their expansive powers, the county’s business is now increasingly interrupted by slurs, epithets and profanity from the public — an issue that’s long been a headache for their colleagues at City Hall and one the supervisors, for all of their power, seem powerless to stop.

According to a Times analysis of a decade of board transcripts, the number of profanities uttered has escalated sharply since the beginning of the year.

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