‘We were in shock’: Cellphone video of racist confrontation on Torrance street sparks hate crime investigation

Local news

Itzel Lopez says she and her boyfriend were the target of vandalism and a racist rant in Torrance on Wednesday night.

The incident was caught on camera.

“We were just coming back from having my birthday dinner,” Lopez said. “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 noticed two people in a pickup truck driving behind them for several minutes. As they approached a red light at the intersection of Artesia Boulevard and Prairie Avenue around 10:30 p.m., 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,” she said.

Both the passenger and driver stepped out of the vehicle. That’s when Lopez started recording.

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

In the video, a woman is heard saying, “White lives matter b—h,” and the man is seen doing a Nazi salute in front of Lopez’s boyfriend, who is Black. Then the man grabs something 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 said.

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 said.

Lopez says the incident took an emotional toll on her.

“It really threw me off. Never in my life did I think I was gonna experience this,” she said. “It’s actually really scary. They don’t even know you and they’re willing to hurt you. It’s sad.”

Lopez and her boyfriend were able to record the truck’s license plate number and report it to police, and they posted it on social media. People online were quick to identify the couple by name.

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

Torrance police are now investigating the incident as a hate crime.

Most Popular

Latest News

More News

KTLA on Instagram

Instagram

KTLA on Facebook

KTLA on Twitter