Photo: Getty
  /  10.09.2022

A new exposé by The Los Angeles Times uncovered a leaked recording of a conversation between members of the Los Angeles City Council and an LA County Federation of Labor official, where several derogatory and racist remarks were made. 

The story, which was published Sunday (Oct. 9), revealed that Council President Nury Martinez, and councilmembers Kevin de León and Gil Cedillo were in the midst of a heated dialogue in 2021 when Martinez took aim at fellow councilmember Mike Bonin, who is white, and his Black child.

In the recording obtained by The Times, Martinez said, “They’re raising him like a little white kid.” Her remarks stemmed from 2017, when the child and Bonin attended a Martin Luther King Jr. Day parade. The councilmember and his child joined in the festivities by riding along the route in one of the floats.

Martinez’s remarks continued, “I was like, this kid needs a beatdown. Let me take him around the corner, and then I’ll bring him back.” Other snide comments about the child included referring to him as “ese changuito,” which means little monkey, and “su negrito,” which is a demeaning means of referring to a Black person. 

Elsewhere in the recording, Martinez took aim at Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascón. “F**k that guy. He’s with the Blacks.” She issued a statement explaining the context in which the remarks were made after learning she and other councilmembers were recorded.

“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. For that, I am sorry. The context of this conversation was concern over the redistricting process and concern about the potential negative impact it might have on communities of color,” read her statement.

Martinez has resided over LA City Council since 2020. She is the first Latina president in the council’s 171-year history. Her statement concluded with “My work speaks for itself. I’ve worked hard to lead this city through its most difficult time.” 

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