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Los Angeles Councilwoman Nury Martinez resigns following her leaked racist remarks

People hold signs and shout slogans as they protest before the cancellation of the Los Angeles City Council meeting Wednesday in Los Angeles.
Ringo H.W. Chiu
/
AP
People hold signs and shout slogans as they protest before the cancellation of the Los Angeles City Council meeting Wednesday in Los Angeles.

Updated October 12, 2022 at 6:11 PM ET

Embattled Los Angeles City Councilwoman Nury Martinez has resigned, days after a recording of her making racist comments against the city's Black and Oaxacan communities was leaked.

"It is with a broken heart that I resign my seat for Council District 6, the community I grew up in and my home," she said in a statement.

The recorded conversation involving Councilmembers Martinez, Gil Cedillo and Kevin de León captured the now-former councilwoman describing the Black son of a white council member in crude and racist language. She also described Oaxacan immigrants in Koreatown as "short little dark people."

The resignation comes hours after protesters disrupted a scheduled Wednesday city council meeting inside Los Angeles City Hall. With no resignation, there would be no meeting, they said in chants.

Prior to her resignation, Martinez had stepped down as president of the council, but stopped short of leaving the council altogether. Cedillo and de León have issued apologies, but haven't resigned.

Councilmember Mike Bonin, whose son was the subject of Martinez's comments, earlier in the day tweeted a call for the three to step down.

It's unlikely that just Martinez's resignation will satisfy the L.A. community.

Dozens of protesters inside the meeting room on Wednesday shouted over President Pro Tempore Mitch O'Farrell as he attempted to speak and call for order. The protesters held signs that demanded members resign and chanted for an hour, as the meeting sputtered along.

O'Farrell attempted to order the group to quiet down, but finally called the meeting to an end after losing a quorum before anything on the agenda was addressed.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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Vanessa Romo is a reporter for NPR's News Desk. She covers breaking news on a wide range of topics, weighing in daily on everything from immigration and the treatment of migrant children, to a war-crimes trial where a witness claimed he was the actual killer, to an alleged sex cult. She has also covered the occasional cat-clinging-to-the-hood-of-a-car story.