LOS ANGELES, Calif. — A gathering attended by several hundred sheriff’s deputies and staff members from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department went awry when a comedian unleashed a stand-up routine filled with racist and sexually explicit humor, people in attendance said in remarks reported today.
Many in the crowd at the Sheriff’s Day Luncheon Wednesday, estimated to be between 600 and 700 people, were dressed in their uniforms, including Sheriff Lee Baca, who thanked comedian Edwin San Juan with a plaque after the off-color performance, the Los Angeles Times reported.
“He managed to insult every ethnic group,” one attendee told the newspaper, requesting his name not be used. “There was a lot of cringing and nervous laughter… I was sitting there thinking, ‘Are you kidding me?’”
The event was hosted by a law enforcement association and was not an official sheriff’s department event.
Baca’s spokesman, Steve Whitmore, told The Times the performance “will be reviewed.”
“If anyone was offended, that was not the intent and certainly apologies are extended,” Whitmore said, adding that he wasn’t at the event so he couldn’t comment on the specifics of the routine.
Whitmore said he spoke to Baca, and the sheriff said he “became concerned that people would complain” but decided to give the comedian the plaque anyway “to thank him for volunteering to come to the luncheon.”
Baca “wants to remind everyone this is a comedian,” Whitmore said. “No one in the department would say this.”