The Los Angeles City Council president resigned Monday after being exposed for making racist comments about her colleague’s black son.
Nury Martinez came under fire after the Los Angeles Times reported that she called Councilmember Mike Bonin’s son “ese changito,” which means “that little monkey” in Spanish. A recording that captured the comments was leaked and first published on Reddit.
In a statement, the Democrat announced she would be stepping down from her role as president, but appears to be keeping her seat on the city council.
“I take responsibility for what I said and there are no excuses for those comments. I’m so sorry,” the statement said. “As a mother, I know better and I am sorry. I am truly ashamed. I know this is the result of my own actions.”
Protesters had gathered outside Martinez’s home in LA and demanded she step down from the post.
“We can’t keep allowing these people to do whatever they want. it’s just blatantly disrespectful and it’s honestly just evil,” protestor Jackie Rodarte told CBS Los Angeles. “So that’s why we’re out here: because we want to let her know that she will not be sitting there for much longer and we will be getting her out of office.”
Rodarte was among a small group of people who chanted “Hey hey, ho ho, Nury Martinez has got to go” and held signs calling for her resignation.
Martinez, who is a Latina, also said in the recording that Bonin’s kid — who was not even 3 years old at the time — “needs a beatdown” and is being raised like a “little white kid” by his white father.
“Let me take him around the corner and then I’ll bring him back,” the city council president said. She also referred to the child as “su negrito,” a derogatory Spanish word for a black person.
On Monday, LA Councilmember Monica Rodriguez called on Martinez to resign, saying her comments were “vile and reprehensible.”
It is not clear who made the secret recording, which has not been reviewed by The Post. The person who posted it on Reddit has since been suspended.
The comments were made during an October 2021 meeting where some councilmembers and a top LA County labor official were discussing redistricting, according to the Times.
During the conversation, Kevin de León, a member of the city council who unsuccessfully ran for LA mayor and California state Senate, appeared to imply that Bonin treated his child like an accessory, like “when Nury brings her little yard bag or the Louis Vuitton bag.”
In response, Bonin said: “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.”
Before announcing her resignation, Martinez issued a half-hearted apology Sunday, saying: “In a moment of intense frustration and anger, I let the situation get the best of me. I hold myself accountable for these comments. For that I am sorry.”
She used stronger language in her statement Monday, and directly apologized to Bonin for her comments about his son.
“I ask for forgiveness from my colleagues and from the residents of my city that I love so much,” she wrote, adding that her comments “undercut the goal” of the “empowerment of communities of color.”