Los Angeles City Council president resigns after audio of racist remarks leaked

Oct 10 (Reuters) – A Los Angeles city councillor resigned as city council president on Monday after she made racist and other derogatory remarks on the tape, including about the black son of a colleague.

Democrat Nouri Martinez apologized to Democratic Congressman Mike Bonin and his family in a statement, announcing her resignation will be effective immediately. She continues to represent the Sixth District of Los Angeles.

Martinez came under fire after the Los Angeles Times reported on her comments at a meeting recorded in October 2021, in which she said Bonin, who is white, viewed his black son as an “appendage” and that he He likened it to “changuito,” which translates to “little monkey.” Bonin was not present.

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Martinez also disparaged the Mexican from Oaxaca and expressed her displeasure with Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascon, saying “he’s with black people,” according to The Times.

“I take responsibility for what I say and there is no excuse for these comments. I am sorry,” Martinez said in the statement. “As someone who believes deeply in empowering communities of color, I recognize that my comments undercut that goal.”

Two other Democratic members of the committee — Jill Zedillo and Kevin De Leon — and Labor leader Ron Herrera, who resigned Monday night, were in attendance, The Times reported.

De Leon reportedly accused Bonin of not supporting Latinos and likened him to the committee’s “fourth black member.”

The trio issued a statement acknowledging inappropriate remarks at the meeting, The Times reported.

The Los Angeles County Federation of Labor did not respond to a request for comment on Herrera’s resignation.

Bonin issued a statement Sunday calling on the city council to remove Martinez from the presidency and for her to resign from the legislature.

“Any parent who has read her comments will know that she is unfit for public office,” Bonin said.

The local chapter of the activist group Black Lives Matter said Martinez, Cedillo, de León and Herrera should resign.

According to her office website, Martinez is the first Latino to become the city council president in January 2020. She was first elected to the City Council in 2013.

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Tyler Clifford reports from New York. Additional reporting by Kanjyik Ghosh. Edited by Rosalba O’Brien and Gerry Doyle

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