Woman caught on video yelling racial epithets at family in N.C.
ASHEVILLE, N.C. (WLOS/CNN) - A video shows a woman yelling racial slurs at a family from Charlotte.
“She continued to say racial slurs to my face continue to call me n*** over and over and over again. It was the most blatant display of racism that I have ever experienced,” Aisha Sabur said.
Sabur said she and her family were visiting from Charlotte on their way to a birthday dinner when a woman, later identified as Rachel Ruit, started yelling racial slurs from behind them.
Another family member started recording while they all stood behind the camera.
“She wanted me to know that ‘if you touch me, I will call the police and you will be held accountable,’ and that’s a big part of why I didn’t lose my cool,” Sabur said.
Protesters already in that area took notice and tried to block Ruit from the family. In the video, it appears Ruit then began yelling racial slurs at them, too.
“I would have been raging at the woman if I was them,” protester Jacob Blair said. “She was filled with hate, rage and racism, and that’s it.”
Criminal defense attorney Joseph Bowman, who watched the video, said, “It’s outrageous that woman is trying to start a fight.”
He said although there is no hate speech law in North Carolina, in this type of situation, ethnic intimidation could be applied.
Defined as a misdemeanor, that occurs under North Carolina law when a person - because of race, color, religion, nationality or country - assaults or damages or defaces property of another person or threatens to do any of that.
He said this could be used along with a variety of other misdemeanors in a case like this.
“The issue with disturbing the peace is, if it looks like you are trying to start a fight ... then you are trying to start a fight, and that’s the crime,” Bowman said.
“It’s just another scenario where we have to be on edge,” said Justen Johnson, who is visiting from Charlotte.
The family said what happened shows why protests for racial justice should continue worldwide.
“All of us who were here, we were affirmed this is why we’re here,” Blair said.
Experts said the woman in that video could receive a maximum sentence of 60 days in jail.