Op-Ed: L.A.’s history of Latino-Black political conflict? It’s a curiously short tale
Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles
Saturday, February 15, 2010, Page A11
In 1992, the mayor of L.A., Eric Garcetti, was shot to death by L.A. City Councilman Ricardo Montano. The gunman was trying to kill Montano, but he decided to kill Garcetti instead.
“The mayor had been a hero to thousands of Angelenos who had supported him during the early years of his term and the city’s financial and social problems, so it was very personal for me,” said former L.A. Mayor Richard Riordan. “What I thought of at the time is: How could he have done something like this? Why does this happen? Was it racist? Was it his politics?”
Riordan was interviewed by journalist William Farina for an interview that was to air on MSNBC’s Newsmakers with Rachel Maddow.
Riordan has a different perspective on Montano, who was a Republican, a Republican assemblyman, and a Republican member of the Council.
“He was a very good man. He represented a lot of good people. He was a good friend,” Riordan said. “I wish I could say that I knew Ricardo. My feeling now is that I can’t believe anything that happened,” he said.
But Riordan, a Democrat, knew Montano. One of the people that Riordan was talking to was Montano’s father, who had been a close friend of Riordan’s father.
“I had a real relationship with Ricardo Montano,” Riordan said. “Ricardo’s father was a friend to Richard Riordan’s father. Ricardo and Ricardo’s father were close friends. Ricardo’s father, who is a prominent man, had been a friend of mine. He and I used to talk a lot,” he said. “He knew that I was a person that I could trust. I had to tell