The Los Angeles Police Department has opened a criminal investigation into the secret recording and ensuing leak of a conversation between Los Angeles City Council members and a prominent labor leader that resulted in citywide unrest and calls for resignations.

During an interview with KTLA 5 Tuesday, LAPD Chief Michel Moore confirmed that his department was investigating allegations into eavesdropping of the private conversation between council members Nury Martinez, Kevin de León and Gil Cedillo as well as Ron Herrera, President of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor.

California’s eavesdropping law prohibits anyone from “intentionally and without the consent of all parties to a confidential communication, use an electronic amplifying or recording device to eavesdrop upon or record confidential communication.”

“Our Major Crimes Division is conducting that [investigation] and we will bring our results to the appropriate prosecuting agency upon completion of that investigation,” Moore told KTLA.

The conversation in question was recorded in October 2021 on Federation of Labor property. It was then leaked on Reddit earlier this month, which led to an outcry of condemnation from the public and members of the California political establishment.

The recording included racist comments made by Martinez about a fellow council member’s Black son, as well as derogatory statements regarding members of the local Oaxacan community. Martinez was also heard in the leaked audio saying of Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón, “F*** that guy… he’s with the Blacks.”

The four had initially met to discuss the broader issues facing the council, including the recent once-a-decade redistricting process and the likely ouster of fellow councilmember Mark Ridley-Thomas, who was indicted on federal bribery charges.

The audio includes the councilmembers debating who would be a suitable City Council replacement that would be politically beneficial to the causes of the four speakers, should Ridley-Thomas be suspended by the council. Ridley-Thomas was ultimately suspended and replaced by Heather Hutt.

In the fallout of the recording being released, Nury Martinez resigned from the City Council after initially only resigning from her position as the Council President. Herrera resigned as President of the Labor Federation within days of the leak.

Both Cedillo and de León have faced calls to resign, including from their constituents, other members of the Los Angeles community, and both Gov. Gavin Newsom and President Joe Biden.

De León has released statements in which he voiced his regret for participating and at times condoning the remarks and said he “fell short of the expectations we set for our leaders.” Despite calls for his resignation, including L.A. residents camping outside of his home, de León says he does not intend to resign.

Councilman Cedillo lost his reelection bid earlier this year and will leave his position in just a few months. De León’s term doesn’t end until 2024.  

It’s unclear if the LAPD has identified any suspects as part of the eavesdropping investigation.

According to the California legislature, violating California’s eavesdropping law could result in a fine of up to $10,000 and one year in prison.