A Latina woman In Boston is calling for an investigation after she says she and her 15-year-old daughter were attacked by two white women simply because she was speaking Spanish, Boston.com reports.
“My daughter and I were attacked, punched, kicked and bitten by two white women,” the woman, identified as “Ms. Vasquez,” said in a press conference on Monday. Vasquez’s remarks were translated from Spanish to English during the conference. “As they beat us, they yelled, ‘This is America, speak English.’”
According to a police report of the incident, which was captured on surveillance video, the Vasquezes were speaking to each other in Spanish when the two women confronted them and accused the mother and daughter of “making fun of them.” The report added that the two alleged attackers “admitted that they had been drinking and acting belligerent.”
In a letter to the Boston police, Lawyers for Civil Rights Boston attorney Janelle Dempsey accused the department of dragging its feet in its investigation.
“Following the attack in Maverick Square, BPD officers took statements at the scene but failed to investigate, protect the victims, or take meaningful action until prompted to do so by the Suffolk County District Attorney’s office,” the letter reads.
“This family’s experience was not an isolated event; acts of racism and xenophobia are alarmingly common in East Boston,” the letter continues. “Most of the time, victims and witnesses are reluctant to speak out of fear and trauma. But the Vasquez family wants the police to hold the assailants accountable.”
You can watch surveillance video of the incident over at Boston.com.