In leaked audio, LA City Councilmembers Nury Martinez, Gil Cedillo, and Kevin de León discuss redistricting, are extremely racist.
Update available here.
Earlier this month, an anonymous Reddit account posted several shocking audio recordings. The recordings seem to contain the voices of Council President Nury Martinez, Councilmembers Kevin de León and Gil Cedillo, and LA Labor Federation President Ron Herrera discussing a wide range of topics of great public interest and being incredibly racist while doing so.
The account and those files have since been deleted. Cedillo, Herrera, Martinez, and de León did not respond to requests for comment.
We have update this article with our transcript of the audio from the recording above:
“Fuck that guy… he’s with the Blacks”
In the recording, Council President Nury Martinez says of Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascón, “Fuck that guy, he’s with the Blacks.”
“There’s nothing you can do to control him, parece ch****ito.”
Martinez says of the adopted Black son of Councilmember Mike Bonin: “parece ch****ito” (“looks like a little monkey”).
“This kid needs a beatdown. Let me take him around the corner, I’ll bring him right back.”
Martinez further jokes about wanting to beat the adopted son of Bonin.
“25 Blacks are shouting.”
Martinez, de León, Cedillo, and Herrera discuss Black political power in Los Angeles and what de León terms “the Wizard of Oz effect.” Martinez says she sees a lot of short, dark people in K-town. Cedillo jokes about the height of Oaxacan Koreans. Martinez says she doesn’t know what “village” they are from, and says “tan feo” in reference to them.
“The one who will support us is Heather Hutt.”
Herrera tells Martinez, de León, and Cedillo that they must maneuver the appointment of a City Council seat to someone who supports them. After de León rejects his initial suggestion, they seem to agree on Heather Hutt. Following a controversial process, Hutt was appointed the Councilmember for Council District 10 in September of this year.
“You’re saying that’s the one to put in a blender and chop up, right?”
Martinez, Cedillo, and de León come to agree on aggressively gerrymandering Councilmember Nithya Raman’s district.
“Go get the airport from his fucking little brother. That little bitch Bonin.”
Martinez suggests that in redistricting, Councilmember Harris-Dawson should take the airport from Bonins district. She questions why Bonin thinks he is Black. Then de León says, “his kid is.”
“I get it. He’s a diva. I understand that.”
Cedillo says he’s happy with redistricting map K2.5, and calls speaks of Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell as Martinez’s “guy.” Martinez expresses surprise that Cedillo is not as close with O’Farrell anymore after their “COVID bro-mance,” and calls O’Farrell a “diva.”
“Fuck that dude” – Martinez on Councilmember Bob Blumenfield.
Ron Hererra tells Cedillo, de León, and Martinez that they are a “little Latino caucus” of their own, and that his only goal is to get the three of them elected. When Herrera says he spoke with CD3 Councilmember Blumenfield, he says he told him he sees all of LA City Council’s seats as Latino. Martinez says “fuck that dude” about Blumenfield.
Martinez calls Councilmember Krekorian’s former chief of staff – “The guy with one eyebrow.”
Martinez, Herrera, De León and Cedillo discuss restricting in Councilmember Paul Krekorian’s district. They discuss his former chief of staff, Areen Ibranossian, and Martinez refers to him as “the guy with one eyebrow.” Martinez then asks what his last name is, and Cedillo says, “I bet it ends with an I-A-N.”
Update: After publishing, Councilmember Martinez issued a statement to the LA Times, saying that: “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.”
De León provided a statement to the LA Times saying that “he regrets appearing to condone and even contribute to certain insensitive comments made about a colleague and his family in private. I’ve reached out to that person.”
Cedillo told the LA Times that he does not remember the conversation.
Bonin and husband Sean Arian issued a statement calling for the resignations of Herrera, Martinez, and De León, and called the meeting a coordinated effort to weaken Black representation in Los Angeles.
On October 10, 2022, Councilmember Nury Martinez resigned from her role as City Council President.
Correction: An earlier version of this story miscaptioned a statement by Council President Nury Martinez due to the quality of the audio. It has been corrected from “callate ch****to” to “parece ch****to.” We apologize for the error.