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Racist Confrontation Caught on Video Investigated as Hate Crime

A woman in Torrance, California, says she and her her boyfriend were the targets of vandalism and a racist rant last Wednesday night, and the incident was caught on camera.

“We were just coming back from having my birthday dinner,” Itzel Lopez says. “We were just in shock. We didn’t know what was going. Why were they doing it? They don’t know us. They were being really mean and racist.”

On their way home, Lopez, who is Mexican, noticed two people in a pickup truck were driving behind them for several minutes.

As they approached a red light, the truck went in front of them.

“I don’t know why they followed us for miles until we came to a complete stop because they cut us in front,” adds Lopez.

A man and woman stepped out of the truck, and Lopez started recording.

“We tried to get away. She kept standing in front of the car and wouldn’t let us leave,” according to Lopez.

In the video, the other woman can be heard saying, “White lives matter, b—h,” as the man is seen doing a Nazi salute in front of Lopez’s boyfriend, who is Black.

The man then grabs an object from the bed of the truck and approaches the driver’s side of the vehicle.

“When he came out the car, he had something and was hitting the car,” Lopez explains.

Lopez can be heard screaming, telling her boyfriend to drive away.

“I was afraid. I didn’t know what they had in their car. I just wanted to get home,” she says.

Lopez and her boyfriend were able to record the truck’s license plate number and report it to police. They also posted it on social media, which allowed people online to quickly identify the couple by name.

“We want to get justice because it’s not right,” says Lopez. “I don’t want them to just go freely and continue to do this to someone else.”

Police are now investigating the incident as a hate crime. They arrested 29-year-old Gregory Howell and 29-year-old Rachel Howell over the weekend.