Los Angeles council president resigns after audio of racist comments leaked

Oct 10 (Reuters) – A Los Angeles City Councilwoman resigned as council president on Monday after an audio recording of her making racist and other derogatory comments, including comments about a colleague’s black son, was released.

Democrat Nuri Martinez apologized to fellow Democrat Councilman Mike Bonin and his family and announced his resignation, effective immediately. He continues to represent Los Angeles’ Sixth District.

Martinez came under fire after the Los Angeles Times reported comments he made during a taped meeting in October 2021 in which Bonin, who is white, said he considered his black son an “accessory” and compared him to “Zangito.” ” which translates as “little monkey.” Bonin does not appear.

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Martinez denigrated Mexicans from Oaxaca and expressed his displeasure with Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascon, saying, “He’s with the blacks,” the Times reported.

“I take responsibility for what I said and there was no excuse for those comments. I am very sorry,” Martinez said in the statement. “As someone who believes deeply in the empowerment of communities of color, I recognize that my comments undermine that goal.”

Two other Democratic members of the council — Gil Cedillo and Kevin De Leon — and Labor Leader Ron Herrera, resigned. Monday nightwere present during the conversation, according to the Times.

De León accused Boni of not supporting Latinos and compared him to the “fourth black member” of the council.

According to the Times, the trio issued statements admitting inappropriate comments were made at the meeting.

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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 him to resign from the legislative body.

“Any parent who reads her comments knows she is unfit for public office,” Bonin said.

The local chapter of the activist group Black Lives Matter called for Martinez, Cedillo, de Leon and Herrera to resign from their positions.

Martinez will become the first Latino to become president of the City Council in January 2020, according to his office website. He was first elected to the city council in 2013.

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Tyler Clifford reports in New York. Additional reporting by Kanjik Ghosh. Editing by Rosalba O’Brien and Gerry Doyle

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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