A black woman in California says she was attacked by a group of about 40 pro-Trump protesters following a rally in Los Angeles and called her N-Word.
Police said they were investigating the incident as a heinous crime after talking to the woman.
“The woman was identified and interviewed by the LAPD. Based on her statements and other evidence, a hate crime / battery report was taken,” the Los Angeles Police Department said in a statement. Report On Twitter.
The woman, Berlinda, 25, said she was walking when she saw the large group on Wednesday NBC Los Angeles, Which noted that he was asked not to use his last name. The previous day, a demonstration had taken place, with several protesters carrying “Stop the Steel” signs.
Berlinda said several people in the group told her to take off her mask. He told NBC Los Angeles that the crowd began to follow him after he turned himself in.
“A bunch of women and men started shouting, ‘Take off your mask, don’t wear a mask,’ he said, asking someone in the group to leave him alone.” That’s when the guy went and took his hand and nailed me in the face. Then he smashed my phone in my face. “
Berlinda said others provoked her and she called it a racial riot.
The attack was captured by photographer Raquel Nataliccio, 29. He said in an interview on Thursday that he had seen Berlinda walking alone and that protesters were asking him if he had voted for President Donald Trump. It is unknown at this time what he will do after leaving the post.
Berlinda was walking around flipping through them, saying they didn’t have them, Natalicio said.
“They harassed her for that, and then she told me to wear a mask,” Nataliccio said, noting that many at the rally did not have a mask. “As soon as she told him to put on a mask, they surrounded her and started circling her, pushing them between them, trying to intimidate her.”
Natalicio said a woman snatched Berlinda’s hair extensions and “started attacking her.” Nataliccio says Berlinda tried to defend herself and several men began beating her with metal flagpoles. It was also believed that pepper was sprayed in the woman’s eyes.
A man volunteered to help. He was caught in a picture being caught from behind to pull Berlinda to safety.
“That guy, I call him my hero,” Berlinda told NBC Los Angeles. “The guy called me and whispered in my ear, ‘Go on. You’re fine. I got you, I have your phone. You’ re right, I’m going to kick you out of here. These people are trying to kill you. ‘”
Berlinda declined to be interviewed when contacted by NBC News on Friday, citing security concerns.
The LAPD said it was investigating the incident and asked if anyone who testified about what happened could come forward with information.
On the same day as the rally in Los Angeles, a pro-Trump mob besieged the U.S. Capitol building, temporarily suspending legislators’ election college votes to ensure the victory of President-elect Joe Biden.
Five people were killed during the riot, including a woman who was shot dead by police and a Capitol police officer.