LAPD seeking persons of interest in alleged hate crime against Black woman at pro-Trump protest downtown
Los Angeles police on Monday shared images of two individuals being sought in connection with an attack on a Black woman during a pro-Trump protest outside City Hall last week.
The men have been identified as persons of interest in last Wednesday’s incident that coincided with the storming of the U.S. Capitol, meaning police are looking to speak with them to learn more about their involvement.
The news comes after the L.A. Police Department said last week it had only determined a man seen in viral photos restraining the victim in a bear hug was not being investigated as an aggressor in the case.
LAPD says the woman told them that man acted as a good Samaritan and pulled her to safety. But in an interview with BuzzFeed News, the woman — identified as 25-year-old Berlinda Nibo — said the man did not help her.
“It would’ve helped me more if he had made way for me to move out of there completely,” she said.
- LAPD: White man seen in viral photos grabbing Black woman at pro-Trump protest was helping her escape
Police have not provided details on the attack, saying only that it’s being investigated as a battery hate crime.
But Nibo described the incident to the Los Angeles Times, saying she was surrounded by a group of at least 20 hostile Trump supporters. She says she was pepper sprayed and scratched in the face, jabbed in the shoulder with a metal pole, and had her wig torn from her head.
“It seemed like these people were trying to kill me,” Nibo said, noting she was the only Black person around. “To use me to make some kind of statement or something.”
It’s unclear what role police suspect the men identified Monday as persons of interest may have played.
One of the men is seen wearing a backwards Black baseball cap and a Black tactical vest with ripped jean shorts. LAPD describes him as a white man in his 30s with brown eyes, measuring around 6 feet tall, and weighing about 180 pounds.
The second man is pictured wearing a gray cap with an American flag emblem and a gray shirt with a “45” logo — a nod to Trump, the 45th president. LAPD describes him as a white man in his early 40s measuring about 6 feet and weighing roughly 200 pounds.
Anyone with information on their whereabout can contact LAPD Detective Cheng, badge No. 37558, at 213-996-1248, or call 213-486-6606 after normal business hours. Anonymous tips may be submitted via 800-222-8477.