A viral audio recording by Los Angeles City Council President Nury Martinez has managed to expose racist comments made by council Democrats about their colleague's black child.
In the leaked audio, Nury can be heard calling her colleague Mike Bonin's black son "ese changito," which means "that little monkey" in Spanish. She stated that Bonin has been raising the boy like a white kid, and used the phrase "su negrito" to refer to the child, which is considered a derogatory term for a black person.
In the audio, she was also heard describing Bonin as "that little b**ch".
Although there is no information on who recorded the audio, it was leaked by a Reddit user, who has since been suspended from the platform. At the time of uploading, the user wrote along with the audio:
"Wow, you know it happens, but when you actually hear it, it's unbelievable. The labor movement is in bed with City Hall."
The conversation reportedly took place during a meeting that included Martinez, her fellow council members - Gil Cedillo and Kevin de León - as well as L.A. County Federation of Labor President Ron Herrera.
All four of them seem to be unaware that the conversation was taped.
What else was said in the leaked audio recording of Nury Martinez?
The racist comments by Martinez were reportedly made during a redistricting meeting in October 2021. While there is no clarity on who recorded the conversation, it is evident that the audio was kept under wraps for almost a year, before it surfaced online on Sunday, October 9, 2022.
Besides using belittling synonyms to describe councilman Bonin's son, Nury Martinez can also be heard saying,
"[t]hey're raising him like a little white kid. I was like, this kid needs a beatdown. Let me take him around the corner and then I'll bring him back."
That apart, she also said that Bonin treated his son like an "accessory."
The leaked audio also revealed that Nury was not the only one making derogatory comments about the young boy.
Member of the city council Kevin de Leon likened Bonin's handling of his kid to Nury carrying a Louis Vuitton bag.
The L.A. Times also reported that while speaking about Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascon, Martinez said:
"F*** that guy … He’s with the Blacks”
Nury Martinez issues apology
As soon as the audio recording featuring Nury Martinez's comments went viral, she apologized and issued a statement to CBS Los Angeles, where she took full responsibility for her actions. She said:
"The context of this conversation was concern over the redistricting process and concern about the potential negative impact it might have on communities on color. My work speaks for itself. I've worked hard to lead this city through its most difficult time."
Kevin De Leon also apologized, stating that he regrets commenting on his colleague's family in private and has already reached out to him.
In an interview with The Times, Bonin said that he was left feeling "angry and heartsick" after hearing the comments. He questioned whether it was fair to target his son, and added that such an attack on a 3-year-old child could only stem from deep insecurity.
Bonin and his family issued an official statement on October 10, where they requested that the City Council remove Nury as president, and demanded her immediate resignation.
The actions of Nury Martinez and Kevin De Leon were also criticized by several political and legal leaders, including Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascon, who said that anti-blackness has no place in Los Angeles.