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California Couple Who Shouted ‘White Power’ At Minority Couple And Damaged Their Car Charged With Hate Crime

Torrance Police Department

A White couple caught on camera attacking the vehicle of another driver and shouting racial epithets have been arrested and charged with a hate crime.

The incident took place in Torrance, California at the end of July. Video taken by one of the victims was shared on social media and aided in the investigation.

They were found and arrested last week.

Itzel Lopez and her boyfriend, a Black man who is not named, were attacked at a red light by the driver of a pickup truck.

Lopez explains:

“We were just coming back from having my birthday dinner. 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.”

Lopez and her boyfriend were driving home after going out to dinner for her birthday, when she noticed a pickup truck following them for several minutes. When they got to an intersection, and had to stop for a red light, the truck pulled in front of them and cut them off.

The driver and passenger of the truck, a man and a woman, got out and started harassing Lopez and her boyfriend.

Lopez started recording.

The woman can be heard yelling:

“White lives matter! Only white lives matter!”

While the man threw Nazi salutes and eventually hit the vehicle with a shovel from his truck.

It’s a horrifying scene.

Incidents like these feel really common with how often people can report on them now. Thanks to cell phone video, people have evidence when they experience racism and other hate crimes.

Luckily, Lopez was able to record the couple’s license plate number. This aided the investigation and allowed the police to make an arrest.

The hate-filled couple are Gregory and Rachel Howell, who have been arrested and charged with a hate crime and vandalism.

The couple posted bail and have been released pending their hearing.

It would be great if we lived in a world where things like this didn’t happen, and it would still be good if at least justice could be had in a world where these things do happen.

But hate crimes are notoriously difficult to prosecute, despite thousands of incidents happening every year.

It’s difficult to say what will happen to the Howells, but one can only hope that justice wins out in the end.

Ben Acosta

Written by Ben Acosta

Ben Acosta is an Arizona-based fiction author and freelance writer. In his free time, he critiques media and acts in local stage productions.