Nury Martinez resigns from the Los Angeles City Council in the wake of the leaked audio scandal

Nury Martinez Movement is pictured at City Hall on August 30, 2022 in Los Angeles, California. Photo: Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Nury Martinez resigned from the Los Angeles City Council on Wednesday over leaked audio in which she and two other council members made racist remarks.

The latest: The council has struggled to carry out its duties in the wake of the scandal, as angry protesters disrupted a meeting for the second day in a row at City Hall on Wednesday.

  • Acting City Council President Mitch O’Farrell emphasized that none of the council members who participated in the recorded conversation were present, but the meeting was adjourned after just over an hour without any discussion or official action completed, the New York Times notes.

What she says: “It is with a broken heart that I resign my seat for Council District 6, the community I grew up in and my home,” Martinez said in a statement.

  • The former president of the council previously said she would take a leave of absence after stepping down from her leadership position.

The big picture: The announcement comes after days of backlash over the audio — from a conversation last year about redistricting — that was obtained and published by the Los Angeles Times over the weekend.

  • Martinez was called on to resign by fellow city council members, community activists and even President Biden, along with Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, mayoral candidates Karen Bass and Rick Caruso and U.S. Sen. Alex Padilla (D-Calif.).

In the meantimecouncil members Gil Cedillo and Kevin de León, who were also heard on the call, have apologized but have not resigned.

Background: The three Latin American council members used derogatory language during the secretly recorded conversation.

  • In the audio, Martinez is heard saying that a white councilman treated his black son as an “accessory.” She also used a Spanish term meaning “little monkey” to describe the child.

Of note: California Attorney General Rob Bonta (D) announced earlier Wednesday that his office will launch an investigation into Los Angeles redistricting as a result of the leaked audio.

Zoom out: The nation’s second-largest city is in the middle of a mayoral election dominated by rising crime, growing homelessness and the economy, according to Axios’ Russell Contreras.

  • Experts say the racism heard in the recording underscores prevalent anti-black and anti-Native attitudes among many Latino communities.

What’s next: The crisis is unlikely to affect the upcoming mayoral election, but if all councilors refuse to resign and the protests continue, tensions could rise. A new mayor will have to tackle these problems – and heal a new fallout.

Editor’s note: This is a news story. Please check back for updates.

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