Speed Reads

'deeply cruel'

L.A. City Council president resigns after leaked racist remarks

Los Angeles City Council President Nury Martinez has resigned after a profanity-laced audio recording was released in which she made what the Los Angeles Times described as "openly racist remarks" about the Black child of a white council member.

In the recording, several Latino council members discussed their frustrations with a city redistricting map in a closed-door meeting in October 2021, the Los Angeles Times reports. Martinez said the white council member, Mike Bonin, treated his Black son like "an accessory," and described the child's behavior as, "Parece changuito," "like a little monkey."

Martinez also described Indigenous Oaxacan immigrants in Koreatown as "short little dark people" and said of Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón, "F--k that guy ... He's with the Blacks." 

It was not clear who leaked the recording, The New York Times notes. Martinez and another council member, Kevin de Leon, issued apologies.

"In a moment of intense frustration and anger, I let the situation get the best of me and I hold myself accountable for these comments," Martinez said. "For that I am sorry."

By Monday afternoon, Martinez announced she would resign as City Council president, though she did not resign from her City Council seat. 

"I ask for forgiveness from my colleagues and from the residents of this city that I love so much," she said. "In the end, it is not my apologies that matter most; it will be the actions I take from this day forward." 

Multiple council members had called for Martinez to step down, per the Times, including Nithya Raman, who tweeted, "Racist, homophobic, and deeply cruel statements like these are disqualifying for elected office in L.A." 

Update 1:24 p.m ET: This article has been updated to reflect news of Martinez's resignation.