Los Angeles City Council President Nury Martinez resigned from her post on Monday, bowing to pressure to step down after audio leaked online of her making racist remarks about African Americans and other ethnicities during a private meeting last year.
“As someone who believes deeply in the empowerment of communities of color, I recognize my comments undercut that goal. Going forward, reconciliation will be my priority,” she said. “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.”
Martinez said her resignation as president is effective immediately.
During an October 2021 meeting, Martinez, Councilmembers Gil Cedillo and Kevin de León, along with Ron Herrera, the L.A. County Labor Federation president, made several controversial and racist remarks across a variety of topics.
Martinez’s comments drew the most scorn.
When discussing L.A. District Attorney George Gascón, Martinez could be heard saying, ‘F— that guy, he’s with the Blacks.”
Martinez also made a racist remark about the Black son of Mike Bonin, a fellow councilmember.
“And then there’s this white guy, with his little Black kid, who’s misbehaved,” Martinez can be heard saying before she says the child looks “like a little monkey” in Spanish. “They’re raising him like a little white kid, which, I was like, this kid needs a beatdown.”
The group erupted in laughter at her remarks. Martinez later said, “Bonin thinks he’s f—— Black.”
During the meeting, they also joked about “little” Oaxacan Koreans, which Martinez referred to as “short, dark people,” and discussed how to favorably redistrict so they could stay in office.
The Los Angeles Times first reported the audio of the conversation, which originally leaked on the social media site Reddit before it was taken down.
Both Cedillo and de León also apologized for the comments.
“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,” Bonin said. “It’s vile, abhorrent, and utterly disgraceful.”
Protesters on Sunday had marched toward Martinez’s home and demanded she immediately resign, expressing outrage over the leaked audio recordings.
Martinez, who is Latina, also faced calls to resign from the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials.
“There is no room for racist language and hateful incendiary rhetoric to coexist with the duties of serving in public office, especially in a place as diverse as the City of Los Angeles,” the organization said in a statement Monday.