A woman was arrested and another hailed a ‘shero’ after a racist incident against two Hispanic women in a Colorado shop.
An American woman, who has been identified as Linda Dwire, was caught on film arguing with a woman called Kamira Trent, who had intervened after she saw Dwire harass two people for speaking Spanish.
The footage, which has been viewed more than half a million times, shows Trent and Dwire shouting at one another before Trent escorts her out of a City Market store in Rifle.
I’m calling the cops. You leave these women alone! Get out!
“You come from a generation that’s destroying this country,” Dwire fires back.
"No I do not. I have respect. You do not harass people," Trent responds.
Dwire shoves a finger at Trent and says: "You will lose your country. You know what, you will lose this country."
Trent refuses to allow the woman to speak, and as the pair walk away, a store employee follows them out.
In the video, Trent can be overheard saying: "You do not harass Hispanic women!"
Trent called the police and Dwire was arrested and taken to Garfield County Jail and charged with two counts of bias-motivated harassment.
Dwire has since been released on bond and is due back in court November.
Fabiola Velasquez uploaded the clip on Facebook. “I never thought this would happen to me,” she wrote.
She recounted what happened, and praised Trent:
She defended us and called the police.
According to BuzzFeed News, the conflict started when Dwire overheard two women, Fabiola Velasquez and Isabel Marin from Mexico, speaking Spanish. Dwire interrupted and asked them if they liked living in the US – yes, they did – after which point she told them to learn English.
Dwire became louder and irate, and it was at this point Trent intervened in an effort to de-escalate the situation.
Trent told BuzzFeed:
She just got angrier and angrier. I was trying to get her away from the two women, but she wasn't going to leave them alone. What she said and the way she said it was wrong.
When the police officer, Carlos Cornejo showed up, Dwire informed him that she was exercising her freedom of speech and said she was offended by the women speaking Spanish because they “didn’t have the respect to speak English".
However, Dwire said that her outburst had “nothing to do with race”.
It’s a patriotic thing. When people come to my country, they need to love it enough to speak English.
Valesquez however, insists it was a racially-charged attack.
If she wasn’t racist, she wouldn’t care what language we would speak. It baffles me because, I don’t understand, what concept they have about us [immigrants]. What are we trying to take away from them exactly?
Dwire added that she “didn’t mind them coming here” so long as they “want to be American and not go on our welfare system".
The video quickly reached viral status, with people commenting on the incident on both Facebook and Twitter.
One person on Facebook wrote: "I would lose my ever living mind if I witnessed this nonsense! Blows my mind that there are people like this that exist! Good for this lady for standing up for what is right! Pretty sure there would have been more cuss words with myself."
Another added: "We need more people like her. What a real American is!"
Twitter blew up with support, too
@sahluwal I've watched this like ten times to hear the part where she says "YOU LEAVE THESE WOMEN ALONE! GET OUT!"