Democrat members of the Los Angeles City Council have apologized after leaked audio from an October 2021 conversation revealed that one member called another council member’s black son a racial slur.
According to NBC 4, Los Angeles City Council President Nury Martinez and Councilman Kevin de León issued apologies after audio of the conversation regarding council redistricting appeared on Reddit, which was later removed.
"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," Martinez said in a statement sent to NBC4. "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. My work speaks for itself. I've worked hard to lead this city through its most difficult time."
Martinez has since resigned from her council leadership post.
"There were comments made in the context of this meeting that are wholly inappropriate; and I regret appearing to condone and even contribute to certain insensitive comments made about a colleague and his family in private. I've reached out to that colleague personally,'' De León said in a statement to NBC4. "On that day, I fell short of the expectations we set for our leaders -- and I will hold myself to a higher standard."
Amongst the comments made during the conversation, Martinez called the young son of colleague Mike Bonin "ese changuito," which is Spanish for "that little monkey."
Martinez also criticized Bonin, who is white and has a black son, for his child’s behavior at a Martin Luther King Day parade, saying that the child was misbehaving and he would have been injured if she didn’t step in to "parent this kid."
"They're raising him like a little white kid,'' Martinez said. "I was like, 'this kid needs a beatdown. Let me take him around the corner and then I'll bring him back.'"
In a Sunday statement, Bonin called for the council to remove Martinez from her leadership seat immediately, and that she resign from the council.
“We are appalled, angry and absolutely disgusted that Nury Martinez attacked out son with horrific racist slurs, and talked about her desire to physically harm him,” Bonin said in a statement. “It’s vile, abhorrent, and utterly disgraceful. The City Council needs to remove her as Council President immediately, and she needs to resign from office. Any parent reading her comments will know she is unfit for public office.”
In this recording, de León criticized Bonin, saying "Mike Bonin won't f*cking ever say peep about Latinos. He'll never say a f*cking word about us."
Speaking in regards to the parade incident, he said that Bonin’s handling of his son was like "when Nury brings her little yard bag or the Louis Vuitton bag."
"There's more I will say later, but right now because I'm still digesting it. I'm disgusted and angry and heartsick. It's fair game to attack me but my son? You have to be pretty petty and insecure and venomous to attack a child. He wasn't even 3 years old. Other than that, I'm speechless," said Bonin in a statement.
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