On Monday, President of the Los Angeles City Council, Nury Martinez, resigned from her post after audio of her making repeated racist marks was leaked. In a statement, Martinez announced that she would resign effective immediately, and apologized for her off-color remarks. The leaked audio surfaced ahead of the Nov. 8 election in which several council seats are up for grabs; it was not immediately clear who recorded it.
First posted to Reddit, the audio containing Martinez’s remarks was obtained and published by the nonprofit community news platform Knock LA and the Los Angeles Times. The conversations also included council members Gil Cedillo and Kevin de Leon, as well as the president of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, Ron Herrera.
Martinez can be heard saying in one of the recordings, regarding Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascón: “[Expletive] that guy, he’s with the Blacks,” and in another recording, Martinez appeared to say that the adopted Black son of fellow City Council member Mike Bonin, who is white, “looks like a little monkey” in Spanish. Bonin and his husband, Sean Arian, said in a statement: “We are appalled, angry and absolutely disgusted that Nury Martinez attacked our son with horrific racist slurs, and talked about her desire to physically harm him. It’s vile, abhorrent, and utterly disgraceful. No child should ever be subjected to such racist, mean and dehumanizing comments, especially from a public official. It is painful to know he will someday read these comments.”
Martinez served as the president of the City Council since late 2019 and is the first Latina woman to hold the position. However despite her resignation, Martinez is expected to remain on the 15-member City Council, and in her resignation statement she did not mention leaving her seat as a council member.
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