A white couple was charged with vandalism and a hate crime Friday after attacking a Black driver’s car with a shovel in California, The Washington Post reported Monday.
A July 22 Instagram video recorded by Itzel Lopez, 25, in Torrance showed a white couple — Gregory and Rachel Howell, both 29 — making racist remarks to Lopez and her boyfriend, who is Black, before their car was hit with a shovel.
“Today on my 25th birthday I was a victim of racism and so was my boyfriend who is black,” Lopez wrote in the Instagram post. “We were being harassed for miles. Until we came to a red light. When all this happened...”
The video showed Rachel Howell on the passenger side flipping dual middle fingers at Lopez and her boyfriend, yelling, “Only White lives matter, bitch!”
After she walked away, Gregory Howell can be seen making a Nazi salute and yelling, “White power!” He then grabbed a shovel from the pickup he was driving and hit the car with Lopez and her boyfriend, who then drove off. The couple damaged the driver’s side mirror, according to police.
“We were just in shock. We didn’t know what was going on,” Lopez told KTLA, a Los Angeles TV station, last week. “Never in my life did I think I was gonna experience this. It’s actually really scary. They don’t even know you, and they’re willing to hurt you.”
The victims filed for hate crimes and vandalism on July 23 and investigators obtained arrest warrants for the Howells the following day, according to police. The couple was arrested a week later.
“We want to get justice because it’s not right,” Lopez added. “I don’t want them to just go freely and continue to do this to someone else.”
Last week, a White Couple was arrested for Hate Crime and Vandalism for saying “only white lives matter” and doing a Nazi Salute to a Black Couple at a red light— Breaking News USA (@_breakingnewsUS) August 3, 2020
The couple was relased today after being in custody for a few days pic.twitter.com/wG2okpeeZ3
The incident was the latest in a string of racial confrontations caught on video.
A conservative radio host in New Hampshire was recently fired after live streaming herself on Facebook confronting landscapers who were speaking Spanish while asking if they were legally in the country. In California, a tech CEO resigned after a video showed him yelling at an Asian American family at a restaurant.