A Los Angeles woman managed to capture a belligerent man’s racist tirade after he approached her, unprovoked, on the street.
Twitter user @3mman3mz, who goes by Em on her profile, was walking in Brentwood, California at the intersection of Bundy and Montana. When she paused to peruse her phone, a white man exited his home and approached her. Phone already out, Em managed to turn it on the man in time to capture more than a minute of his racist rant.
Notably, the man is maskless. Los Angeles has been a hub of coronavirus infections since the pandemic began, suffering 1,158,794 infections and 18,678 deaths since March, according to data from Johns Hopkins. With this in mind, Em does her utmost to maintain her distance from the hostile man.
At the outset of the video, Em politely asks if the man can step away, as he's backed her up against a car in her attempts to maintain a six-foot distance. He fumbles through a mocking response, wrestling with his clearly displeased dogs, before a woman walks by and Em attempts to get her attention.
"Do you see him harassing me right now," Em asks the woman. "I'm sorry." Her voice appears to be relatively quiet, which likely explains why the woman doesn't look over. As she passes by, seemingly unaware of Em's request, the man steps closer.
"No ones... no one's going to pay attention to you," he says. The latter is stated in almost a whisper, as if he's worried about being overheard.
The man, slurring his words throughout, goes on to eloquently state that no one will help Em because "you're dumb."
"And you're a stupid, uh, blue Asian haired girl." His expression makes it clear that this poorly-constructed sentence is the absolute peak of his verbal capability. He puffs his chest out, a look of self-satisfaction on his face, like he didn't just bungle his own crappy insult.
He then takes a turn from amusingly quarrelsome into actually hostile. The abrupt shift to overt aggression is startling. Raising a middle finger to the camera, the man—still ignoring his dogs, by the way—repeats "fuck you" four times, with increasing levels of vitriol. His dogs begin to whine as his voice raises to nearly a shout.
His threat to videotape Em is tempered, immensely, by the clear inaccuracy of this claim. He can barely tell which side of his phone is the front, but that doesn't stop him from aggressively following Em as she attempts to retreat around the parked car, tossing out insults like "dumb bitch" and "stupid."
When Em finally manages to untangle herself from where she was cornered, she begins retreating down the sidewalk, phone trained on her seemingly inebriated aggressor the entire time. When she begins practically running from him down the sidewalk, the man shouts after her.
"Get the fuck outta here, you idiot" he screams after her. He lets out a final "dumb fucking bitch" as the video concludes. Em noted, in several subsequent tweets, that the man continued to follow her as she walked away.
Em's interaction with the LAPD may be even more frustrating than the reason for her call. She phoned the police to report the man's aggressive and racist behavior, and says she was told that "it would've been easier if he'd swung at you," and that "being threatened is subjective."
"The officer told me that not wearing a mask is not threatening & deemed it relevant to mention that he 'grew up with Japanese people,'" Em continued. "We are living in a pandemic, in LA where cases are raging, in a country when 2100 hate incidents against Asians have occurred since the pandemic. I have lived in this city my entire life and have never felt threatened in the way I did today. This man singled me out bc I was an Asian girl walking by myself and took advantage. We need to hold bigots like these accountable."
Em's tweet managed to rack up more than 2,500 likes and nearly 2,000 retweets overnight.
In the comment section for Em's post, people lined up to offer their support and outrage over the man's behavior. "I was frightened just watching this," one commenter noted.
"White men are not okay," another user quipped.
Em did not immediately respond to the Daily Dot's request for comment.