L.A. City Council president criticized over alleged racial remarks

Los Angeles City Council President Nury Martinez and other city officials are facing criticism over alleged racial remarks targeting a fellow councilmember and his son.

Councilmember Mike Bonin released a statement calling for the resignation of Martinez after the LA Times reported on Sunday that Martinez and other officials made derisive statements about him and his Black son. 

“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 statement on Twitter. “The City Council needs to remove her as Council President immediately, and she needs to resign from office.” 

Our family statement about today’s ugly and hateful news. pic.twitter.com/0fPPXwsS5B— Mike Bonin (@mikebonin) October 9, 2022

He also called for the resignation of fellow Councilmember Kevin de Leon and LA County Federation of Labor President Ron Herrera. Another councilmember, Gil Cedillo, also participated in the conversation, the LA Times reported. 

Representatives for Martinez, de Leon and Herrera didn’t immediately respond to requests from Bloomberg for comment sent Sunday. A lawyer representing the LA County Federation of Labor said in a letter to the LA Times that the conversation was taped in violation of California’s privacy and recording laws. 

The LA Times reported that the conversation took place in October 2021, with council members expressing frustration over redistricting maps. The group discussed the need to re-elect Latino council members and to ensure that heavily Latino districts didn’t lose economic assets. 

The group mentioned Bonin’s son while discussing a dispute between two other councilmembers, who are Black, according to the newspaper. 

© 2022 Bloomberg L.P.

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