LA City Council President Resigns After Leak Of Racist Audio

Los Angeles City Council President Resigns, Apologizes After Leak Of Racist Audio Where She Called Fellow Council Member’s Black Son A “Little Monkey”

Los Angeles City Council President Nury Martinez has resigned effective immediately after an audio recording was leaked where she could be heard calling a fellow council member’s Black son a “little monkey.”

Martinez has since profusely apologized amidst widespread outrage over the racist comments, which were reportedly made about colleague Mike Bonin’s young son in audio obtained by the LA Times.

The announcement of Martinez’ resignation, which was revealed in an email from the councilwoman’s office on Monday, comes on the heels of a recorded conversation from October 2021 between Martinez and Councilman Kevin de León among other city officials.

L.A City Council President Nury Martinez Resigns, Apologizes After Leaked Racist Audio While Speaking With Other Latino Leaders

The pair were forced to apologize Sunday for the disparaging remarks.

The 49-year-old now-former councilwoman and several other Latino leaders could be heard criticizing Bonin, who is white, and his adopted Black son, saying “they’re raising him like a little while kid,” and “this kid needs a beatdown.”

Martinez also described the councilman’s son as “parece changuito,” or “like a monkey,” while calling his adopted father, who is also gay, a “little b****.”

The hourlong leaked racist audio clip surfaced Sunday when the recording was posted anonymously on Reddit.

(Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

The October 2021 conversation in question between Martinez, de León, council members Gil Cedillo and de León, and county Labor President Ron Herrera, was initially about council members’ discussing maps that had been put forward by the city’s redistricting commission.

Leaked Audio Caused Widespread And Immediate Backlash, Protests At Martinez’s Home

The Los Angeles Times quickly obtained and published it, causing an immediate backlash as protesters flocked to the now ex-presidents home and called for her resignation.

The protesters were there flouting a law that Martinez herself championed in 2021 that banned protests in residential areas.

In a statement released Monday morning, the potential mayoral candidate issued a groveling apology where she said she was ashamed of the comments, and announced she was resigning in response to public backlash over her racist remarks.

“I take responsibility for what I said and there are no excuses for those comments,” Martinez wrote in the emailed statement, which was shared amidst calling for her firing. “I’m so sorry.”

Martinez “Knows Better” And Is “Truly Ashamed” Of Racist Remarks Caught On Tape

Martinez tried to appeal to her sense of motherhood, and said she “knows better” and “am truly ashamed.”

Rev. K.W. Tulloss speaks at a press conference at Southside Bethel Baptist Church, after audio surfaced on Sunday of Los Angeles City Council President Nury Martinez making racist slurs about colleague Mike Bonins young son during a conversation in October 2021, in Los Angeles on Monday, October 10, 2022. (Photo by Brittany Murray/MediaNews Group/Long Beach Press-Telegram via Getty Images)

“As a mother, I know better and I am sorry. I am truly ashamed,” Martinez wrote. “I know this is the result of my own actions. I’m sorry to your entire family for putting you through this.”

While she will be stepping down as president of the City Council, Martinez will keep her seat on the board and will continue to work for the city.

She went on to directly apologize to Bonin, 55, and his partner, Sean Arian, as well as their son.

Council Member Who’s Son Was Target Of Racist Remarks “Disgusted, Angry, Heartsick” Over Leaked Audio

In her public apology, the official pointed out that she had spearheaded numerous efforts to help minorities in her district, including a 2020 initiative she launched to assist school-aged homeless children.

“As someone who believes deeply in the empowerment of communities of color, I recognize my comments undercut that goal,” Martinez said. “Going forward, reconciliation will be my priority. I have already reached out to many of my Black colleagues and other black leaders to express my regret in order for us to heal.”

In response, Bonin told the Los Angeles Times that he was “disgusted and angry and heartsick” over the leaked audio clip.

“It’s fair game to attack me but my son?” he added, calling for the resignation of all three city Latino council members. “You have to be pretty petty and insecure and venomous to attack a child. He wasn’t even 3 years old.

Bonin went on to add that “other than that, I’m speechless.”


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