Black woman in L.A. attacked by Trump supporters the day of Capitol siege
'It's just sad,' said Berlinda Nibo, 'that girls are no longer being protected nowadays, apparently.'
Los Angeles police are investigating a potential hate crime attack of a Black woman by a mob of President Donald Trump supporters Wednesday, where hundreds carried Trump flags and signs reading “Stop the Steal.”
Berlinda Nibo, 25, told a local news station — one that had obtained video footage — a crowd of about 40 people began to follow and harass her after she flipped them off at a protest outside of Los Angeles City Hall, which coincided with the riotous events in Washington D.C.
“It’s just me,” she told NBC News, “and all of a sudden. I’m just getting cornered by 30, 40 people.”
“That’s what started all of them to jump in and shoving me around,” Nibo said. “Then some lady comes out of nowhere and starts tugging on my hair, trying to pull my hair off of my head.”
“It was like — we got our hands on a Black person, we’re going to make an example of her,” Nibo said. “It’s just sad that girls are no longer being protected nowadays, apparently. It’s worse because I’m a Black girl.”
While some outlets reported a white man photographed holding Nibo was trying to protect her, she told Buzzfeed News that “it did not help me … It would’ve helped me more if he had made way for me to move out of there completely.”
As the man carried Nibo and held her hands down, someone pepper-sprayed her in the face for at least the third time, Buzzfeed reports.
The day after the disturbing downtown melee, Los Angeles Police Department officials tweeted, “We are aware of disturbing images of an incident that occurred during yesterday’s protest in Downtown Los Angeles. A designated area was established within the protest location for individuals to report crimes and/or seek medical attention.”
Initially, the police agency did not know Nibo’s identity. In an update, they wrote, “The woman has been identified and interviewed by the LAPD. Based on her statements and other evidence, a hate crime/battery report was taken.”
Nibo said the protesters confronted demanding she remove her mask. Los Angeles County is currently the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic.
According to L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti, the number of deaths in the county from the virus Thursday was greater than the total number of homicides in all of 2019.
In video images, Nibo’s mask is seen below her nose and mouth as she defended herself and attempted to escape. She also says she was hit in the face and maced.
She received first aid on the scene from a bystander.
A woman named Mayra Loyola, moved by the photos she saw on Instagram, reportedly reached out to Nibo to set up a GoFundMe for her.
“This is a hate crime. We saw what she went through. This is a disgrace, this is terrorism, racism, and something we should all help with,” Loyola’s online fundraiser read. “She needs medical help. Her shoulders, back and head are hurting her. Anything helps.”
The effort has over $47,000 in donations in less than 24 hours, far surpassing its $10,000 goal.