A California couple was the victim of a racist encounter where a man threw up the Nazi salute and a woman yelled “only white lives matter.”
Itzel Lopez told KTLA5 that she and her boyfriend, who is Black, “were just coming back from having my birthday dinner.” She continued, “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 saw the two people in a pickup truck driving behind them. The truck was following them for several minutes. As Lopez’s boyfriend approached a red light at the intersection of Artesia Boulevard and Prairie Avenue at about 10:30 p.m., the truck drove 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,” Lopez explained. Both the driver and the passenger exited the vehicle and this is when Lopez started to record.
“We tried to get away. She kept standing in front of the car, and wouldn’t let us leave,” Lopez explained.
In the clip of the incident, the woman yells, “White lives matter b*tch! Only white lives matter!” and the man throws up a Nazi salute in front of Lopez’s boyfriend. Then the guy grabs something from the bed of his truck and walks to the driver’s side of Lopez and her boyfriend’s vehicle.
“When he came out the car, he had something and was hitting the car,” Lopez said. In the video, Lopez can be heard screaming and 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 explained. Lopez described the emotional toll the incident took on her, saying, “It really threw me off. Never in my life did I think I was gonna experience this.”
“It’s actually really scary,” she continued. “They don’t even know you and they’re willing to hurt you. It’s sad.”
Lopez and her boyfriend managed to record the truck’s license plate number and submit it to police. Lopez, who identifies as Mexican, also posted the clip to her Instagram account. “On my birthday JULY 22. 2020 I experience racism in a extremely traumatic way,” Lopez captioned the video. “I been racially profiled for so long.”
“We want to get justice because it’s not right,” Lopez explained to KTLA5. “I don’t want them to just go freely and continue to do this to someone else.”
Torrance police said they’re investigating the altercation as a hate crime.