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LA sheriff's commander disciplined over using mock Asian voice ringtone

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POSTED April 16, 2013 8:16 p.m.

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A Los Angeles County sheriff's commander has been disciplined for having a ringtone with a mock Asian voice and for comments he made after his personal cellphone rang during a meeting with top brass.

The Los Angeles Times says a colleague reported that Cmdr. Paul Pietrantoni's ringtone was "The Oriental Riff" accompanied by a stereotypical Asian voice saying: "Hello, you pick up phone, you pick up phone."

After the phone went off at a meeting with supervisors, Pietrantoni reportedly said, "Oh, that must be Mr. Tanaka calling me," referring to Paul Tanaka, the department's then-second in command, who is Japanese-American.

Pietrantoni was issued a verbal reprimand.

He defended his conduct to the Times, saying the ringtone had been put on his phone by his daughter's fiance, who is Asian-American.

 

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