The Los Angeles Police Department is investigating what they’re calling a hate incident involving a white woman who yelled extremely 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 n—s” as she walks out of CVS in the Eagle Rock neighborhood of Los Angeles.
A customer followed her out of the store while filming the woman as she continued to say, “Fuck you n—. I hate n—s. I would kill a n— but the law says I can’t kill the n—. If the law didn’t say that I couldn’t kill the n— 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 activist commentator Shaun King.
Renée Saldaña, a 38-year-old LA native who currently 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 white 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 10-12 other customers and CVS employees when she made the decision to follow the white woman and the other customer filming her out of the store because 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 n—. I’m not running from you n—,” the white woman says in Saldaña’s video. She then chants, “If you lynch a n— then yep. If you lynch a n— then yep.”
Saldaña said the white 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 did anything to “diffuse” the situation in the aftermath, nor did anyone ask the white woman to leave the store.
When reached by phone, staff 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 was yet to hear back from them.
“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,” Saldaña 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.”
*story by Buzzfeed News