Protesters, Officials Call For LA Council Resignations Over Leaked Racist Audio

The backlash over leaked audio that revealed racist comments from Democratic Los Angeles City Council President Nury Martinez was not quelled when she gave up her title earlier this week.

Now, outraged locals are calling for the ouster of other city leaders — union boss Ron Herrera and council members Kevin de Leon and Gil Cedillo — who were present for the conversation in question.

Council member Mike Bonin, whose adopted Black son was a target of Martinez’s racist rhetoric, delivered a public speech in the wake of the controversy that reflected the toll this situation has taken on his family.

In addition to Martinez, Herrera has also stepped down from his position at the helm of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor.

Although Martinez gave up her title as president, she did not resign from the council and was not present for a contentious meeting on Tuesday. Critics want her — along with de Leon and Cedillo — to leave the city council.

Bonin said that it is “a good first step” for those involved in the offensive conversation to seek forgiveness, but asserted that it must be followed by resignations.

“But let me be clear,” he added. “People should not ask me for forgiveness because I can’t forgive them because it’s not my prerogative. It’s the prerogative of a boy who was too young to really understand what the hell was going on.”

Protesters outside of the latest council meeting showed up with signs and slogans meant to pressure all three council members to resign.

For his part, de Leon issued an apology for his involvement in the recorded conversation.

“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,” he said. “I’ve reached out to that colleague personally. On that day, I fell short of the expectations we set for our leaders — and I will hold myself to a higher standard.”

Even the Biden administration has weighed in on the controversy, with White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre declaring: “The language that was used and tolerated during that conversation was unacceptable, and it was appalling. They should all step down.”