Councilman Calls For LAPD To Report On Investigation Into DTLA Attack On Woman
LOS ANGELES (CNS) – Los Angeles Councilman Bob Blumenfield called today for the Los Angeles Police Department to report to City Council on its investigation into the attack of a 25-year-old Black woman by pro-Trump protesters outside L.A. City Hall on Jan. 6.
Photos of the woman being grabbed while surrounded by a crowd holding flags and wearing Trump hats at a protest in downtown Los Angeles on same day a destructive mob breached the U.S. Capitol were shared widely on social media.
Berlinda Nibo, 25, was later interviewed by police, and a hate crime and battery report was completed.
Blumenfield’s motion, which was seconded by Councilman Gil Cedillo, also calls for police to tell City Council if the crime is being investigated as a hate crime. Officer Rosario Cervantes told City News Service Wednesday that it was being investigated as an “alleged hate crime incident.”
A further update on the investigation was not available.
“Due to the racist and sexist nature of this attack, hate crime charges should probably be considered. In order to be as transparent as possible with this investigation, the police department should be directed to report to council on this matter,” Blumenfield said in the motion.
Blumenfield called the attack “unacceptable” and said the perpetrators need to be identified and arrested.
Two men who were photographed among a group surrounding Nibo are being sought by police.
One man, described as roughly 40 to 45 years old, white and roughly 6 feet tall, was seen in one of the pictures wearing a gray hat with an American flag on it and a gray shirt with “45” on the front.
A second man, described as white with brown eyes, about 6 feet tall and 180 pounds, was wearing a black hat, black tactical vest and ripped jean shorts in the photos. Police said the man is roughly 30 to 40 years old.
“It seemed like these people were trying to kill me,” Nibo told The Los Angeles Times. “To use me to make some kind of statement or something.”
She said she had come upon the protest while walking to get breakfast with a friend. The pair initially crossed the street to avoid the crowd, but soon after realized the friend’s phone was missing. She told the Times she began calling it while her friend rode on a skateboard through the crowd to look.
That’s when people began following her, asking her whether she knew who Joe Biden was and if she voted for Donald Trump, Nibo told the newspaper.
Soon, people began hurling racial slurs and chanting “white lives matter,” according to the Times.
Nibo told the paper she flipped off members of the crowd and people began shoving her before someone grabbed her phone and one woman tore off her wig. A man then came up and grabbed her from behind, holding her so she couldn’t move.
Nibo told the Times she thought, “I’m dead right here, these people are trying to kill me.”
The Los Angeles Police Department said in a news release that they have a zero tolerance policy for crimes based in hate.
“The department will aggressively pursue every lead to bring individuals to justice,” the department said.
Anyone with information on the people of interest can call the department at 213-996-1248.