LA City Council racist audio leak: Cedillo, de León booted from committee seats amid BLM pressure to resign

Leaked audio capturing racist remarks between Latino members of the Los Angeles City Council prompted the removal of another two council members from their committee seats amid continued pressure from Black Lives Matter protesters for them to resign from the government body altogether. 

Council members Kevin de León and Gil Cedillo were pulled from committee assignments regarding real estate development, housing, homelessness and other matters, the Los Angeles Times reported. 

Acting Los Angeles City Council President Mitch O’Farrell made the announcement on Monday. 

This comes after Nury Martinez first resigned as President of the Los Angeles City Council before ultimately forfeiting her council seat altogether last week. Los Angeles County Federation of Labor President Ron Herrera had also already resigned from his powerful union leadership position. 

LA’S BLACK-LATINO TENSIONS BARED IN CITY COUNCIL SCANDAL 

Los Angeles Councilman Kevin de León, left, and then-Los Angeles City Council President Nury Martinez confer at an Oct. 4 city council meeting. 

Los Angeles Councilman Kevin de León, left, and then-Los Angeles City Council President Nury Martinez confer at an Oct. 4 city council meeting. 
(Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

Black Lives Matter protesters have been staged outside de León’s home in Eagle Rock. 

BLM leaders are demanding Martinez be replaced by one of the council’s African American members to “demonstrate its commitment to Black political empowerment and political and racial healing,” KNBC reported. 

A leadership vote is scheduled for Tuesday, as Councilmembers Paul Krekorian and Curren Price both expressed interest in taking over as president. Krekorian tested positive for COVID-19 on Sunday, but will attend virtually. 

The Los Angeles Times first reported last week about the audio recording of a conversation that happened in October 2021 between Martinez, Cedillo, de León and Herrera while discussing the redrawing of districts. 

According to the Times, Martinez criticized another colleague, Councilor Mike Bonin, who is White, over the parenting of his Black son, who she said Bonin treated like an “accessory.”

Hundreds of members of the Oaxacan community participate in a March for Justice through the streets of downtown Los Angeles towards City Hall on October 15, 2022, demanding the immediate resignation of Los Angeles council members Gil Cedillo and Kevin de Leon. 

Hundreds of members of the Oaxacan community participate in a March for Justice through the streets of downtown Los Angeles towards City Hall on October 15, 2022, demanding the immediate resignation of Los Angeles council members Gil Cedillo and Kevin de Leon. 

“They’re raising him like a little White kid,” Martinez said, according to the recording leaked on Reddit. “I was like, ‘This kid needs a beatdown. Let me take him around the corner, and then I’ll bring him back.”‘

Martinez also called Bonin’s son “ese changuito,” Spanish for “that little monkey.”

De León chimed in, comparing Bonin’s handling of the toddler to “when Nury brings her little yard bag or the Louis Vuitton bag.” “Su negrito, like on the side,” Martinez added.

Acting Los Angeles City Council President Mitch O'Farrell announces that he is canceling this Fridays city council meeting Thursday, October 13, 2022.  

Acting Los Angeles City Council President Mitch O’Farrell announces that he is canceling this Fridays city council meeting Thursday, October 13, 2022.  

It’s not clear who made or leaked the recording. 

“Mike Bonin won’t f—ing ever say peep about Latinos. He’ll never say a f—ing word about us,” De León said. 

Martinez also derided Los Angeles County District George Gascón, saying “He’s with the Blacks.” 

Hundreds of members of the indigenous community protested on Saturday for De León and Cedillo to resign. 

Comunidades Indígenas en Liderago (CIELO), in alliance with prominent indigenous communitv leaders across California, were demanding the immediate resignation of Los Angeles council members Gil Cedillo and Kevin de Leon. 

Comunidades Indígenas en Liderago (CIELO), in alliance with prominent indigenous communitv leaders across California, were demanding the immediate resignation of Los Angeles council members Gil Cedillo and Kevin de Leon. 
(Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

Martinez is heard in the recording referring to Oaxacans as “little, short dark people.”

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Despite apologies from all four who participated in the conversation, de León and Cedillo have not conceded to numerous calls from political leaders for their departure, including from President Biden.

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