The Los Angeles Police Department is investigating what it's calling a hate incident involving a white woman who yelled racist threats about lynching black people on Tuesday at a CVS.
A now-viral video that’s been circulating online shows the woman screaming “I hate niggers” as she walks out of a CVS in the Eagle Rock neighborhood of Los Angeles.
A customer followed her out of the store while filming the woman; she continued to shout, “Fuck you, niggers. I hate niggers. I would kill a nigger, but the law says I can’t kill the niggers. If the law didn’t say that I couldn’t kill the niggers, they’d all be dead.”
The woman kept walking to her car and chanted the n-word at the customer filming her.
An LAPD spokesperson told BuzzFeed News a report was completed on Wednesday, one day after the incident took place. They described the investigation as ongoing.
The footage went viral on Wednesday and was posted to the Instagram account of Shaun King, an activist and commentator.
Renée Saldaña, a 38-year-old LA native who lives in Highland Park, told BuzzFeed News she witnessed the incident happen around 4:30 p.m.
When Saldaña first heard the commotion, she was confused because she didn’t hear the racist threats and thought it was maybe just a mother yelling at their child. But that changed once she heard the woman yell the n-word and scream about wanting to lynch black people. “I was like, what the hell is happening?” Saldaña said. “I couldn’t hear anyone else. I didn’t hear a confrontation. I could only hear one voice traveling through the CVS yelling really hateful, violent things. Everyone was confused; no one knew what was happening.”
Saldaña said she was standing at the front of the store with about 10 to 12 other customers and CVS employees when she made the decision to follow the woman and the other customer filming her out of the store. Saldaña said she thought, “If this gets violent, I want to make sure I get this on tape.”
“Aside from being a threat to the woman who was filming it, it was one of those incidents where you felt like, Man, does she have a gun? Is she going to come back in here?” Saldaña said. “It felt like there was violence in the air.”
Saldaña also took her own video of the incident, offering another perspective of the woman screaming at the other CVS customer.
“I’m not running from you niggers. I’m not running from you niggers,” the woman says in Saldaña’s video. She then chants, “If you lynch a nigger, then yep. If you lynch a nigger, then yep.”
Saldaña said the woman then got into her car, “tore out of the parking lot, screeching tires,” and drove the wrong way down the street. “It was scary,” she added.
According to Saldaña, none of the CVS employees asked the woman to leave the store, and no one did anything to “diffuse” the situation in the aftermath.
When reached by phone, staffers at the CVS where the incident occurred had no comment. The CVS corporate office referred questions to the local store.
Saldaña said that she called the LAPD to file a report on the incident on Tuesday and left a message with her contact information, saying she has footage of what happened, but she had yet to hear back from the police.
“It’s very frustrating because this community likes to see itself as very progressive, but look what the fuck is happening with someone in our community,” she said. “That’s why it bothered me so much. This woman, who looks like anyone you could see at a PTA meeting or next to you in yoga class, is out here terrorizing people in CVS.”