Two Los Angeles council members embroiled in the racist audio scandal are standing their ground after protests calling for their resignations ensued outside their homes and City Hall.
Despite demonstrations and calls to resign from officials as high up as President Joe Biden, LA council members Kevin de León and Gil Cedillo are refusing to leave their seats over their involvement in racist remarks made during a 2021 conversation that leaked earlier this month, per HuffPost.
“No, I will not resign because there is a lot of work ahead,” de León told Noticiero Univision Tuesday (October 18).
De León and Cedillo were among the four city officials involved in the conversation released by the Los Angeles Times where disparaging remarks were made about the Black son of fellow council member Mike Bonin. In the released audio, the since-resigned Council President Nury Martinez can be heard making several racist remarks, including a comment where she likened the Black boy to a monkey.
When Martinez said Bonin paraded his son around like an “accessory” de León didn’t push back, but instead joined in on the conversation, saying Bonin handled his son the same way that the former council president carries her Louis Vuitton purse.
In a separate interview with CBS2 on Tuesday, de León confirmed he wouldn’t resign despite expressing that he “shouldn’t have made that flippant remark.”
Cedillo, on the other hand, hasn’t spoken on the issue since his initial apology.
“Clearly, I should have intervened,” Cedillo said, maintaining that he didn’t truly “engage in the conversation” or make racist remarks.
Former Los Angeles County Federation of Labor President Ron Herrera was also involved in the conversation and was the first to resign from his post.
Yet, Cedillo and de León, Democrats, continue to hold the seats amid party pressure to resign and acting Los Angeles City Council President Mitch O’Farrell removing both of them from all of their committee assignments.
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