On the same day an aggressive mob stormed the U.S. Capitol to protest President Donald Trump’s cession of power, MAGA supporters in California attacked a Black woman taking a stroll through her neighborhood.
A group of people shouting “stop the steal,” adorned in MAGA hats, bearing Trump-flags were rallying in an area near downtown Los Angeles when 25-year-old Berlinda Nibo pulled out her phone to record the scene only to be accosted by the group.
Nibo told The Root the group heckled her with questions about her choice for president even though she was trying to walk away and catch up with her friends. After a white woman shouted in her face, Nibo engaged in a verbal confrontation about wearing masks and the rest of the group started chanting “All Lives Matter” before attacking her.
“It’s just me and all of a sudden I’m just getting cornered by 30, 40 people,” Nibo said. “That’s what started all of them to jump in and shoving me around. Then some lady comes out of nowhere and starts tugging on my hair, trying to pull my hair off of my head.”
During the assault, the 25-year-old had her hair extensions ripped from her head.
Photojournalist Raquel Natalicchio posted photographs on Instagram that confirm many of the details Nibo described in her account. Natalicchio told The Root that onlookers and police alike did nothing to stop the mob from ganging up on the woman until she and two other people stepped in to help Nibo.
“I’m definitely shaken to see men beat a woman in that way, especially since there’s no excuse for it,” Natalicchio said. “But also it was very disheartening to see so many people, like over 50 people watching this happen and nobody stepped in.”
In two of Natalicchio’s photos, a Black man who participated in the Trump rally is mere feet away from Nibo and appears to look past her, ignoring her plight.
But Nibo did not succumb to the crowd and fought back until a man grabbed her trying to shield her from the gang of people. Still, one of the attackers was able to pepper spray her directly in the eye while she was being held.
“It was like—we got our hands on a Black person, we’re going to make an example of her,” Nibo said. “It’s just sad that girls are no longer being protected nowadays, apparently. It’s worse because I’m a Black girl.”
Nibo also told The Root that police witnessed the attack and did nothing. She said she is planning to file a police report regarding the assault. The LAPD said it is “looking into the incident,” but did not go into further details regarding the case.
Nibo is now concerned about her safety in the country, given its current politically-charged state.
“Should I not walk down the street anymore without getting worried about getting beaten up by Trump supporters because I am darker than I am?” Nibo said.