A viral video shows a woman confronting another customer at a Colorado supermarket who had been harassing a pair of Spanish speakers.
Kamira Trent tried to stick up for her fellow patrons at the City Market in Rifle, Colorado, after she allegedly overheard the suspected harasser saying to Fabiola Velasquez and Isabel Marin: “You’re in America. You’re in my country. You can’t speak Spanish here. You need to speak English if you’re going to be in America”.
The video shows Ms Trent, who is also white, saying to the other woman identified by BuzzFeed News as Linda Dwire, “get out of here, now! You leave these women alone! Get out! Go!,” before threatening to call the police.
Ms Dwire can be seen pointing her finger at Ms Trent and approached her and one of the women who had been speaking in Spanish to say Ms Trent “come[s] from a generation that’s destroying this country”.
Ms Marin and Ms Velasquez are originally from Mexico and the latter has been in the US for eight years. She was accompanied that day by her three children.
She does not elaborate on that in the video and it is unclear what exactly she meant by that comment.
Ms Trent retorted she does not and said “I have respect, and it does not matter. You don’t harass people like this.”
The heated exchange was caught on camera by one of the Spanish speakers and posted to her Facebook account under the name Faby VelSa.
It has been viewed more than 650,000 times thus far.
Ms Dwire went on to say repeatedly Ms Trent “will lose this country”.
Ms Trent then approached Ms Dwire, appearing to escort her away from the other customers and out of the store. She can be heard saying, as a store employee followed them down the store aisle, “You do not harass Hispanic women!”
According to interviews with Ms Marin and Ms Velasquez, BuzzFeed News reported “the conflict began when Dwire overheard Velasquez and Marin speaking in Spanish to each other, and interrupted to ask if the women lived in the US and whether they liked it. The two replied that they did, and Dwire told them to learn English, raising her voice as the confrontation went on.”
Ms Trent said she tried to peacefully de-escalate the confrontation at first but Ms Dwire “just got angrier and angrier. I was trying to get her away from the two women, but she wasn’t going to leave them alone. What she said and the way she said it was wrong.”
Ms Dwire later told police officers the women “didn’t have the respect to speak English” and added to the news outlet that she is not racist, just a patriot. “It has nothing to do with race. It’s a patriotic thing. When people come to my country, they need to love it enough to speak English,” she said.
Eventually, Ms Dwire was arrested outside of the store and taken to the Garfield County jail on two counts of bias-motivated harassment according to police documents.
She has been released on bond and is set to appear in court next month.