Washington – A 15-year-old Latina woman and her daughter were attacked by fists and kicked by two white women in an area east of Boston, Massachusetts, because they spoke in Spanish, one of the victims and their denounced on Monday. lawyers
The incident, which occurred on February 15, was captured in a video distributed to the media during a press conference at the Present Center, a community organization, and of which the woman who identified herself as Vasquez but did not give her first name or that of his daughter.
Vasquez said that she and her daughter were walking home and when they passed through Maverick Square, two women began shouting that “we are in the United States” and told them to “speak English or go to their (pejorative adjective) country.”RELATED
“They punched us, they bit us,” Vasquez said. “My daughter was hit in the head.”
In the video you can see the trouble and the arrival of a vehicle with police officers who separated the women and interviewed them. Vasquez said that before the police officers who responded to the incident her daughter and another pedestrian helped her with the translation.
According to the Lawyers for Civil Rights group, which represents the victims, Boston police “have not notified the family of arrests, they do not even know if the incident is investigated as a hate crime.”
Boston Police Detective Sgt. John Boyle told the local WBUR station that “a very active investigation is underway” by the civil rights unit of that department, but did not answer whether charges have been filed. .
“The mother and daughter required medical assistance,” the group of lawyers added. “However, the Police Department did not follow up or formally interview the Vasquez family until lawyers intervened.”
For its part, the police report indicates that the agents identified the alleged attackers as white women “who admitted they had been drinking and acted in a belligerent manner.”
The police report realizes that the two women, unidentified, acknowledged that they had been braided with Vasás and his daughter because when they passed through the square they heard them speaking in Spanish and believed they were making fun of them. “
For her part, Vasquez said at the press conference that she has nightmares, has a means of taking the train to go to work and the family “is afraid to speak in Spanish in public.”
“My daughter is still wearing a neck support and has trouble sleeping,” he added. “We are all shocked.”
Attorney Janelle Dempsey said “the experience of this family is not an isolated incident. Racism and xenophobia are alarmingly common in the East Boston area.”
According to Dempsey, Civil Rights Attorneys regularly receives complaints from community groups and residents who have suffered attacks and “in most cases victims and witnesses are reluctant to report for fear or trauma.”
“The Vasquez family wants the police to make the attackers accountable,” he added.
Patria Montes, executive director of the Present Center, said her organization is supporting the Vasquez family and many other victims of similar incidents in the area.
“We are not second-class citizens. We deserve protection and respect. In a neighborhood like this, where there has been an increase in hate incidents, immediate and significant investigations of hate crimes are crucial to dispel threats and violence.” , said.