A Black woman was attacked by a mob of Trump supporters at a pro-Trump rally which turned into a small riot at City Hall in Downtown Los Angeles on Thursday (Jan. 7), and police are now investigating the assault as a hate crime.
“I don’t understand what’s going on in the world,” Berlinda Nibo, the assault victim told CBS Los Angeles. “I’m saddened by it. I’m heartbroken by it.”
Images taken at the event by freelance photographer Raquel Natalicchio showed white men in the mob wearing MAGA hats and “Stop the Steal” t-shirts, physically assaulting her.
She told Natalicchio that she lives only two blocks from where the rally took place. When she was walking by, members in the mob asked her if she voted for Trump, when she said no and tried to ignore their taunts, they attacked her.
OPINION: After The Storming Of The Capitol Building, It’s Obvious We Live In Two Different Americas
“I’m walking by and they’re yelling at me because of my color, calling me the N-word calling me the B-word, saying, ‘All lives matter, Black lives doesn’t matter,'” said Nibo. When she responded to them, the crowd began to follow her and then violence ensued.
One of the demonstrators “goes and smacks me in the face,” Nibo said. “And then all of them start trying to jump me, and then people jump in.”
“When they started pushing her around, this other woman, that was a Trump supporter, came up to her and ripped her wig off,” Natalicchio told CBS Los Angeles. “Obviously, at that point, she began to try to defend herself.”
The attack in L.A., came a day after pro-Trump rioters staged a terroristic attack on the U.S. Capitol building that has so far cost five lives including a capitol police officer, who died late Thursday. A false narrative that the president himself has perpetuated for months claims that he won the 2020 election. While this has repeatedly been found to be baseless, his followers believe it and have become dangerously violent over it.
Nibo said strangers came to defend her, including a red-bearded man who was shown in photos holding her. “He was whispering in my ear going ‘You’re OK, I got you, I’ve got you, don’t do anything. These people are literally trying to kill you,'” she said.
RELATED: Black Mayors, Appalled At U.S. Capitol Rampage, Point Out Trump’s Hypocritical Call For ‘Law and Order’ During BLM Marches
While the man tried to pull her from the crowd, she was pepper sprayed by one of the Trump supporters. Nibo said the man saved her life.
“If not for him stepping in at that moment, these people would have literally tried to kill me,” she said.
Natalicchio said that this incident was a clear example of the level of racism seen in America eveyr day.
“People of color experience things like this on a daily basis and are seldom believed when they speak about it,” Natalicchio said. “It’s real sad, we gotta do better. We got to do better.”
The LAPD said the riot was an unlawful assembly and that six people have been arrested, but none were under custody on assault suspicion.
“Based on her statements and other evidence, a hate crime/battery report was taken,” an LAPD statement said. “The individual seen in the images with his arms wrapped around her — per the victim’s statement — was determined to be a Good Samaritan that helped her get away from the hostile crowd, by carrying her to safety.”
EDITOR’S NOTE: The images below may be disturbing to some readers.
Photo: CBS Los Angeles