Cellphone video captured a woman in El Segundo Sunday calling the police on three Black women and repeatedly referring to their race on a track near the Southern California beach.
Brittany, Raquel and Jessyka say they were jogging at El Segundo Beach, near Dockweiler Beach south of LAX, early Sunday morning when the woman passed and they believe they heard her call them the N-word.
"I stopped and I said, 'What did you say to us?' And she just went on kind of a racial tirade and was like, 'You need to go back to Africa,'" said Brittany.
Said Raquel, "I think in the beginning it was a little bit of shock. At first, when she yelled the first racial slur at us, we were not sure of what we heard."
The women say they continued on their jog until they passed the woman again and asked her what she had said.
"She continued on that she was from Mexico and this was her continent and we needed to go back to our continent," Raquel said.
They say they started recording because the woman claimed she was being attacked.
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"My environment has been harmed by this African Black person," the woman can be heard saying in the video.
The woman in the video continues, "My emergency is that I was just attacked by an African Black person — She just attacked me from behind."
Said Jessyka, "So much hatred in her and where is that coming from? And why is rooted in her so deeply that she couldn't even, like, pass us?"
The women compared the incident to another incident in New York that received national attention, where a woman called police on a bird watcher, saying she was being attacked by a Black man.
"It was very similar to what we saw in Central Park— knowing that she could arm herself with our blackness and make us a threat," Raquel said.
The women say they saw police at the beach after they left, and Sunday afternoon, they added their own incident report, meeting with Los Angeles police.
The trio of women said they were on their regular Sunday running route and, despite the encounter, they won’t change up their routine or let this woman have the power to stop them from coming back to a place they love to visit.
"It’s important to educate people about what is really going on because I think the biggest misconception is that it won't happen to me," Jessyka said.
After the incident, the women say they want people to understand these kinds of interactions leave lasting impressions, and they encourage others to talk to people in their own lives about it.
"It comes from a place of hate," Raquel said. "And I don’t think it’s on people of color to fix on their own, and we need allies to confront individuals who have these opinions."
The El Segundo Police Department released a statement saying that after an initial investigation, an officer determined that the incident occurred in the city of Los Angeles.
El Segundo officers told her to call the Los Angeles Police Department.
"Since then, a disturbing video has been posted on social media showing that woman using racially charged language toward the individual recording," El Segundo police said in the statement. "Although this incident did not occur in El Segundo, that behavior has no place in any community. El Segundo stands against racism and is committed to making sure everyone who lives, works, and visits feels welcome."