Angelenos call for resignations and reforms at town hall on racist audio leak
As the country mourns the deaths of two black American teenagers in police violence, California Mayor Eric Garcetti is facing his toughest test yet.
On Monday, nearly 150 of Garcetti’s constituents met at Los Angeles City Hall to demand he resign over a recording he made back in December, when he told then-candidate Hillary Clinton about a recent racial confrontation in his city.
His comments were later leaked on the internet, where they were condemned as a racist comment by African-Americans, and have prompted a firestorm of criticism from politicians of both parties and the public.
While Garcetti has apologized for the remark, which he now claims to have made in jest, the audio is now being examined by a committee of the city council called on Monday by Councilman Mitch O’Farrell, who said he wants to hear from the city’s Hispanic, Asian-American and black community what they think about the mayor’s handling of the situation.
The four-member committee will also examine whether Garcetti’s office followed proper protocols in recording Clinton in the first place.
“The tape is not what he said,” Garcetti told reporters Tuesday. “The tape is not what I said. The tape is what I said that she, and her office, did not want to release.
“I did not record her at a secret location,” he added. “I did not record her on a private phone call. And I have the right to do what is my constitutional duty. And what is that, Mayor, I respectfully ask you and Mrs. Clinton, is that you respect that and that you please release the tape, because that’s what it is. It’s what she did not want published. It’s what I said.”
The mayor, who is African-American, also rejected accusations that he was racist.