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What You Need To Know Today: Racist Remarks from Council President Nury Martinez, Criminal Justice Laws, The New K Line

A woman with long dark hair and a pink dress sits at an office desk
Council President Nury Martinez co-sponsored the motion.
(Libby Denkmann
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Good morning, L.A. It’s Monday, October 10.  

Today in How To LA: An audio recording reveals that L.A. City Council President made racist remarks towards another council member’s son, new criminal justice laws; plus K-Line opening 

It all started last October with a conversation between three Latino Los Angeles City Council members and the L.A. Labor Federation President.

Martinez was speaking with fellow Councilmembers Kevin de León and Gil Cedillo and L.A. County Federation of Labor President Ron Herrera. They were recorded talking about their frustrations with redistricting efforts in the city — a once-in-a-decade process that has an impact on community members’ everyday lives.

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Now, in a story first reported by the Los Angeles Times, we know that the group discussed their need to maintain strong Latino representation on the council. About 48% of L.A.’s total population is Latino. Four of the 15 city council members are Latino and three participated in this conversation.

One year later and one month before Angelenos head to the polls to vote in the Nov. 8 election, we’re learning that racist and derisive slurs were used against fellow council members not present throughout this discussion among powerful decision makers who create laws, order elections and approve city contracts.

.Audio of the conversation was posted to Reddit from an unknown source. Knock LA published audio clips on their website Sunday morning (our newsroom has also since reviewed the tapes.)

When it came to Los Angeles District George Gascón, Martinez said “Fuck that guy, he’s with the Blacks.”

Martinez also said extremely racist, derogatory things about Councilmember Mike Bonin’s adopted Black son as she recounted being on an MLK Jr. parade float together.

She called his son a “monkey” in Spanish and remarked that his son needed a beatdown and suggested he was being raised “like a little white kid.” “Let me take him around the corner, I’ll bring him right back,” she says.

Martinez issued an apology hours after the story broke Sunday morning.

Bonin and his husband said they were “appalled, angry and absolutely disgusted that Nury Martinez attacked our son with horrific racial slurs, and talked about her desire to physically harm him.”In addition to calling on Martinez to resign, Bonin on Sunday called on de León, who is not up for reelection this time around, and Herrera to both resign. Cedillo lost his seat outright in the June primary to Eunisses Hernandez.

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We’ll continue to follow this developing story closely.

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As always, stay happy and healthy, folks. There’s more news below — just keep reading.

The News You Need After You Stop Hitting Snooze

*At LAist we will always bring you the news freely, but occasionally we do include links to other publications that may be behind a paywall. Thank you for understanding! 

  • Conviction records, free phone calls from prison, rap lyrics and criminal proceedings: Three criminal justice laws in California that were just signed.
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Wait! One More Thing...Top Three Tea-Sipping Trends

A train breaks through a banner reading "Now arriving... The K!" The banner is held by two Metro staff members.
The Metro K Line train breaks through a banner as it opens to the public on Oct. 7, 2022.
(Raquel Natalicchio
for LAist )

THREE - A semi truck that sunk in Ballona Creek at Centinela 

Have you ever seen a semi truck in a body of water? Check this out. 

TWO - ICYMI: The K Line Metro extension finally opened this past Friday. 

Here are scenes from Friday’s K Line opening. The new Metro line will connect LAX (not yet though) to the city via South L.A. and Inglewood. Everyone has been talking about it on Twitter.

ONE - Several politicians and community members tweeted responses to LA City Council President Nury Martinez's racist comments, including L.A. Mayoral Candidate Rick Caruso 

While Mayoral Candidate Rick Caruso denounced the hate speech from Martinez, he brought up Karen Bass, stating that many of the people involved in the conversation have endorsed her. L.A. City Councilmember Marqueece Harris-Dawson called the actions of Martinez, Kevin de León, Gil Cedilllo and L.A. County Federation of Labor President Ron Herrera “inexcusable and potentially illegal.” The LA County Public Defender Ricardo D. García said he was “disgusted” by what he read. Not only did Councilmember Mike Bonin called for her removal and resignation from city council, several other people have as well.

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