In Boston, a mother and her 15-year-old daughter were allegedly the victims of unprovoked violence when two White women attacked them for speaking Spanish on a public street.
The mother, who spoke at a press conference and wished to be identified only by her last name, Vasquez, said the attack took place on February 15 in Maverick Square, East Boston.
She released a statement through her attorneys, saying:
"We were attacked, punched, kicked, and bitten. I'm having nightmares."
"I'm afraid to take the train to work, and my family is afraid to speak Spanish in public."
We in MA like to think we live in a blue, liberal bubble. We must constantly fight against the racist underbelly of… https://t.co/mQkzaCiZCx— Katie Brigham (she/her) (@Katie Brigham (she/her)) 1582563201.0
A video of the incident, captured by nearby security tapes, shows one of the alleged attackers crossing the street waving an arm at Vasquez before shoving her and beginning a fight.
The Boston Globe reported the women hurled racist insults at Vasquez.
"Speak English. This is America ... go back to your [expletive] country!"
In East Boston, a group of Spanish speakers were assaulted by two strangers in a completely unprovoked attack just… https://t.co/WIGLozFh0f— manu macedo (@manu macedo) 1582586706.0
Police Sgt. Detective John Boyle said no arrests have been made but the Boston police's civil rights unit is still actively investigating the incident.
The white woman crossed the street to attack. She was not the victim. Lock her up. https://t.co/ipNR5Gd4ku— 🇺🇸Du 🏳️🌈 (@🇺🇸Du 🏳️🌈) 1582728023.0
When officers arrived at the scene of the conflict, they spoke with both Vasquez and the alleged assailants, who admitted to belligerent behavior but denied starting the fight.
The White women claimed to police that Vasquez threw the first punch during a verbal argument.
The video footage shows otherwise.
Once again it’s important to help observers understand that this racist attack didn’t occur in Texas or Mississippi… https://t.co/QzS5qllpaB— GRITS1951 (@GRITS1951) 1582757394.0
Janelle Dempsey, an attorney for Lawyers for Civil Rights, who are representing Vasquez, says attacks like this are not exceptionally rare.
"Acts of racism and xenophobia are alarmingly common in East Boston. Most of the time, victims and witnesses are reluctant to speak out of fear and trauma. But the Vasquez family wants the police to hold the assailants accountable."