LA City Council President Nury Martinez Resigns After Leaked Audio of Her Making Racist Comments
In a statement released in conjunction with her resignation, Martinez said, “I ask for forgiveness from my colleagues and from the residents of this city that I love so much.”
She continued, “In the end, it is not my apologies that matter most; it will be the actions I take from this day forward. I hope that you will give me the opportunity to make amends. Therefore, effective immediately I am resigning as president of the Los Angeles City Council.”
According to CBS Sacramento, Martinez apologized for her comments on Sunday, some of which were aimed at the then-two-year-old son of fellow Councilmember Mike Bonin, saying that she spoke “in a moment of intense frustration and anger.”
Martinez also mentioned the Oaxacan community in Los Angeles’ Koreatown, saying, “I see a lot of little short dark people,” and making more racist comments criticizing Cuban LA County District Attorney George Gascón for being “with the Blacks.”
The call, which took place in October 2021, was originally about redistricting in Los Angeles before spiraling off in a much more controversial direction. At one point in the conversation, Martinez refers to Bonin’s son as “parece changuito,” or, “like a little monkey,” reports Fox News.
Martinez also expressed her desire to physically reprimand Bonin’s son during a Martin Luther King Jr. Day parade, leading her to say that the child would have toppled over the float on which he was standing if she hadn’t had to “parent this kid.”
The former City Council President also said, “They’re raising him like a little white kid. De León mentioned how similar it was to “when Nury brings her little yard bag or the Louis Vuitton bag,” to which Martinez said: “Su negrito, like on the side.”
Additionally, de León was heard referring to Bonin as “the fourth Black member” of LA’s city council. He also cursed Bonin at another point in the conversation, saying, Mike Bonin would never say anything about Latinos. “He’ll never say a f— word about us.”
Bonin responded to the news with a lengthy statement posted to Twitter:
In a statement given to CBS Los Angeles, Martinez continued, “I let the situation get the best of me and I hold myself accountable for these comments. For that I am sorry.” She added, “My work speaks for itself. I’ve worked hard to lead this city through its most difficult time.”
According to NBC News, Councilman de León also issued a formal apology for his comments during the hour-long phone call, saying, “There were comments made in the context of this meeting that are wholly inappropriate; and I regret appearing to condone and even contribute to certain insensitive comments made about a colleague and his family in private.”
“I’ve reached out to that colleague personally,” he added. “On that day, I fell short of the expectations we set for our leaders — and I will hold myself to a higher standard.”
The two other people on the call, Councilman Gil Cedillo and LA Labor President Ron Herrera, did not appear to utter any racist remarks themselves but are still being asked to resign for their failure to speak out against the racially insensitive remarks from Martinez and de León.
Both Cedillo and Herrera have released statements in response to the controversial phone call, with the former saying, “While I did not engage in the conversation in question, I was present at times during this meeting last year. It is my instinct to hold others accountable when they use derogatory or racially divisive language. Clearly, I should have intervened.”
Herrera, on the other hand, said that there was “no justification and no excuse for the vile remarks made in that room,” according to a report from the LA Times. “And I didn’t step up to stop them and I will have to bear the burden of that cross moving forward,” he added.
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