Powerful LA Democrat Steps Down After Recording Shows She Went on Racist Rant

LA City Council president Nury Martinez said councilman's black son is a 'little monkey'

Los Angeles City Council president Nury Martinez (D.) / Getty Images
October 10, 2022

Los Angeles Democrat Nury Martinez on Monday stepped down as city council president after a recording revealed that she went on a racist rant against black people, Fox 11 Los Angeles reported. Martinez will keep her seat on the city council.

During a meeting last year with two other council members and a union official, Martinez said Councilman Mike Bonin's (D.) adopted black son is a "little monkey," the New York Times reported. Martinez also described the child as negrito, a Spanish slur for a black person, and criticized the boy's parents for "raising him like a little white kid," the Los Angeles Times reported.

Martinez and the other speakers also said the city does not have enough majority-Latino council districts, cursed out far-left district attorney George Gascón (D.) for being "with the blacks," and blasted Oaxacan immigrants as "ugly" and "little short dark people."

Martinez's resignation may upend Los Angeles's increasingly tight mayoral race between Rick Caruso, a former Republican who has run a tough-on-crime campaign, and Karen Bass, a left-wing Democratic congresswoman. While Bass in a statement condemned Martinez's remarks, her campaign website still touts Martinez's endorsement, and she did not call on Martinez to resign.

"This entire situation shows that City Hall is fundamentally broken and dysfunctional," Caruso said in a statement. "This is a clear example of hypocrisy, racism, and crude power politics."

The other speakers on the recording are Democratic councilmen Gil Cedillo and Kevin de León and Los Angeles County Federation of Labor president Ron Herrera, the Los Angeles Times reported. De León compared Bonin's son to a Louis Vuitton handbag.

De León and Herrera have apologized for the conversation. Cedillo in a statement to the Los Angeles Times claimed he doesn't "have a recollection of this conversation."

Martinez wrote in her resignation letter that "I take responsibility for what I said, and there are no excuses for those comments."