Police are investigating an alleged hate crime in Torrance after a woman uploaded a video of a white couple who accosted her and her boyfriend while performing a Nazi salute and yelling, “Only white lives matter.”
Itzel Lopez said she and her boyfriend were out celebrating her 25th birthday on Wednesday, July 22. As they drove home, they noticed a white pickup truck had begun to tail them. At about 10:30 p.m at the intersection of Artesia Boulevard and Prarie Avenue, Lopez said the pickup truck got in front of them at the stoplight.
Lopez’s footage shows a white man and a white woman exit the pickup truck and stand in the road while taunting Lopez, who is Mexican, and her boyfriend, who is Black, with racist language and gestures.
In the video, the woman yells, “White lives matter, bitch!” while flipping off Lopez and her boyfriend. Then, the man performs a Nazi salute while standing in front of their car. The couple then walks back to the truck, where the woman gets her phone and begins recording Lopez while the man picks up what police call “a garden tool.” It’s at this point that Lopez’s boyfriend backs up his vehicle, then drives around the pickup truck and away from the intersection. The other man is accused of hitting their car, presumably with the tool, as they drove away.
Lopez posted a second video to Instagram in which they track down the white pickup truck, parked in front of a Starbucks, and take note of the license plate, which they’ve since provided to police.
“We want to get justice because it’s not right,” Lopez told KTLA. “I don’t want them to just go freely and continue to do this to someone else.”
Several people on social media claimed to know the white couple, offering up their names and social media handles. The associated profiles have since been deleted.
The Torrance Police Department said on July 23 that they were aware of the video and are investigating the altercation.
Torrance police recently arrested Dennis Wyman for allegedly yelling racial slurs at a group of Black people and then hitting one of them with his car on June 29 at a Staybridge Suites in Torrance. Wyman has since been charged with assault with a deadly weapon, hit-and-run driving and the special allegation that those charges were hate crimes.
Last month, Lena Hernandez was accused of yelling hate speech at multiple people, including a woman at a park, a man at that same park later that day and two other people at the Del Amo Mall. Hernandez is already dealing with a battery charge unrelated to any of those incidents and will be arraigned in October.