Following the Los Angeles Times leaking of audio of L.A. City Council President, Nury Martinez (D), making multiple racist slurs and comments in an October 2021 meeting, Martinez resigned from her position as City Council president Monday. Her resignation came after a day filled with protests in front of her home and calls from both constituents and elected officials for her resignation.
The racist comments stem from a meeting last October regarding redistricting with L.A. County Federation of Labor president Ron Herrera, L.A. Councilman Kevin de Léon (D), and Councilman Gil Cedillo (D). During the meeting Martinez made multiple inappropriate racial comments, frequently using Spanish derogatory terms to refer to blacks and Mexicans.
The most egregious of her comments were made about fellow Councilman Mike Bonin’s (D) two-year-old adopted black son. Martinez stated, “They’re raising him like a little white kid” regarding how Bonin was raising his child. She went on to say, “I was like, this kid needs a beatdown. Let me take him around the corner, and then I’ll bring him back.”
Martinez also referred to Bonin’s son as a “Parece changuito” which is Spanish for “that little monkey.” Martinez also said of the child, “Su negrito, like on the side,” which is reportedly a derogatory Spanish term for a black person.
While Martinez has resigned as president, she is still a member of L.A. City Council although she is facing numerous calls for her to resign from the Council altogether. Martinez issued a formal apology to Councilman Bonin and his family and said, “I ask for forgiveness from my colleagues and from the residents of this city that I love so much. 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.”
Not only are constituents calling for Martinez’s complete resignation from the Council but both L.A. mayoral candidates, Rick Caruso and Rep. Karen Bass (D-CA) are calling not only for Martinez’s full resignation but also for the resignation of the other council members that were present during the meeting where the comments were made.
Bass Tweeted, “Los Angeles must move in a new direction, and that is not possible unless the four individuals caught on that tape resign from their offices immediately.”
Martinez not only belittled Bonin’s son, but she also reportedly referred to Mexican immigrants living in Koreatown as “short little dark people” and mocked L.A. District Attorney George Gascon for being “with the blacks.”
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A replacement for Martinez as the Los Angeles City Council president has not been announced and it is unknown at this time whether Martinez or the other three people present during the meeting, will fully resign.