L.A. Council President makes racist remarks about fellow councilman's son

Nury Martinez referred to Councilman Mike Bonin's black son as a "changuito" (little monkey) and said the child "needs a beatdown."

Several politicians, businessmen and activists urged Los Angeles' City Council President Nury Martinez, a Democrat, to resign from her position after she was caught making racist remarks in a leaked audio recording. The comments, made about fellow Councilman Mike Bonin's black son, were made during a conversation recorded in October 2021, according to The New York Times.

In the recording, Martinez allegedly referred to her colleague Mike Bonin's black son as "ese changuito," Spanish for "that little monkey." Martinez went on: "They are raising him like a white child... I was like, 'This kid needs a beatdown. Let me take him around the corner, and then I'll bring him back.'" At another point in the nearly hour-long conversation, she referred to Bonin as a "little bitch."

The leaked audio also exposes Martinez's racist criticism of progressive Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascón, saying, "That guy, he's with the blacks." On the other hand, Councilman Kevin de León, who ran unsuccessfully for mayor of Los Angeles and the California Senate, said on the recording that Bonin carries his son around like an accessory.

Bonin handles his son similarly to "when Nury brings her little purse or Louis Vuitton bag," said Kevin de Leon. The comments came as councilors discussed redistricting during a meeting in 2021 in which another councilor, Gil Cedillo, also participated.

Bonin's response

Bonin said, "I am disgusted, angry and heartbroken." He added:

It's fair to attack me, but to attack my child? You have to be very mean, insecure and venomous to attack a child. He wasn't even three years old. Other than that, I'm at a loss for words.

Both Los Angeles City Council President Nury Martinez and Councilman Kevin de Leon apologized Sunday for their words. "In a moment of intense frustration and anger, I let the situation overpower me, and I take responsibility for these comments. I am sorry," said Martinez

De Leon said, "There were comments made in the context of this meeting that are totally inappropriate, and I regret appearing to condone and even contribute to certain insensitive comments made about a colleague and his family."