ASHAMED: Los Angeles City Council President Resigns After Leaked Audio of Numerous Racist, Homophobic Slurs Surfaces

Nury Martinez
Nury Martinez as she attended a Coalition To Abolish Slavery And Trafficking 20th Annual “From Slavery To Freedom Gala” at City Market Social House, in Los Angeles, CA on May 10th, 2018. File photo: Eugene Powers, Shutter Stock, licensed.

LOS ANGELES, CA – Nury Martinez, a member of the Los Angeles City Council, has officially resigned from her post as president of the legislative body after racist and homophobic comments she made about a fellow councilmember and their black child were released to the public via an anonymously-leaked audio recording.

While Martinez – who represents LA’s 6th district – has resigned as president “effective immediately,” she will still remain as a member of the City Council itself, which is completely made up of Democrats.

“I ask for forgiveness from my colleagues and from the residents of this city that I love so much. In the end, it is not my apologies that matter most; it will be the actions I take from this day forward,” Martinez said in a statement. “I hope that you will give me the opportunity to make amends. Therefore, effective immediately I am resigning as President of the Los Angeles City Council.”

An audio recording of the comments were posted on Reddit on October 9 by an unknown user and subsequently obtained by The Los Angeles Times.

The audio contains a 2021 conversation between Martinez, Councilmembers Gil Cedillo and Kevin de León and Los Angeles County Federation of Labor President Ron Herrera over maps proposed by the city’s redistricting commission, with many of the councilmembers expressing frustration with them.

The conversation then turns sharply racist and homophobic, with Martinez initially sounding off on LA District Attorney George Gascon, saying, “F**k that guy, he’s with the blacks.” She then pivots to calling fellow City Council member Mike Bonin – who is white, gay man – a “little bitch,” and describes Bonin’s 8 year-old adopted son – who is black – as a “little monkey.”

“Bonin thinks he’s f**king black,” Martinez can be heard saying, adding that the councilmember “handled his young Black son as though he were an accessory.”

Martinez also insulted Bonin’s child by calling him a “changuito,” a racial slur for a black person meaning “monkey” or “ape” in Spanish. She also complained about the child’s behavior during a parade, claiming that he was hanging from a railing of their float, saying “this kid is going to tip us over.”

“They’re raising him like a little White kid,” Martinez said in the leaked audio. “I was like, this kid needs a beatdown. Let me take him around the corner and then I’ll bring him back.”

Bonin and his husband, Sean Arian, had demanded that Martinez be removed as president, and also said that she should fully resign from the City Council itself as well.

“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 in a joint statement with his husband. “It’s vile, abhorrent, and utterly disgraceful.”

Martinez apologized to Bonin and his family when announcing her resignation, saying, “As a mother, I know better and I am sorry. I am truly ashamed. I know this is the result of my own actions. I’m sorry to your entire family for putting you through this.”

It is currently unknown who made or released the audio recording.

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