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Police in California open investigation into viral video of racist incident

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Posted at 8:04 AM, Jun 12, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-12 08:06:23-04

The mayor of a California town says police are investigating after video widely shared on social media shows a woman making racist remarks about a Filipino American woman who was exercising in a local park.

Patrick Furey, the mayor of Torrence, California, says the city is aware of the viral video.

"All visitors to our open spaces should always feel safe and free to exercise while practicing social distancing without conflict," he said, according to The Los Angeles Times. "Conduct like that displayed on the video cannot be tolerated."

KABC-TV in Los Angeles adds that Furey said an investigation has been opened by police.

The video was originally posted by Rachel Tennell on Twitter (@rmtennell). Tennell says the video shows her friend, who she later identified as "Sherry," being accosted by a white woman as she exercised in Torrence's Wilson Park.

"The next time you talk to me like that, you're going to get your a** kicked by my family. They're going to f*** you up," the woman yells as Sherry stretches.

"Go back to whatever f***ing Asian country you belong in," the woman later said.

Tennell said that Sherry no longer feels safe working out in the park because of the incident.

Later on, in her Twitter thread, Tennell shared a statement by Sherry.

"I never imagined my story would reach so many people, and I am happy to shed some light on the work that needs to be done in this country. As a Filipino American, I believe all people of color should be treated with humanity, dignity and respect," she wrote. "I stand in solidarity with all oppressed people who face discrimination and violence just because of their ethnicity, nationality, gender, gender-nonconformity and sexual orientation."

Watch the viral video below.

Warning: The video includes explicit and racist language.

Congressman Ted Lieu, D-Calif., who represents Torrence, tweeted about the incident.

"This woman went on an anti-Asian tirade in Torrance, CA. You know what’s sort of cool? The good and decent people of Torrance repeatedly elected an Asian American to City Council, then State Assembly, then State Senate, then Congress. That would be me," he wrote.