Protest Held Outside Apartment Complex After Viral Video

By an edhat reader

A video went viral showing a local woman making racist comments towards a construction worker, prompting a protest outside a downtown Santa Barbara apartment complex.

On Sunday around 8:00 p.m., a large group of people gathered outside the corner of E. Micheltorena and Garden Streets showing solidarity for the construction worker.

Over the weekend, a video was posted online showing an older white woman confonting a man working on a nearby property. The video, which has since been taken down but was seen by edhat staff, shows the woman getting confrontational with the man as he films their converstion.

She stated she’s a neighbor and has every right to know what’s happening at the nearby property. The conversation escalates as the woman states she’s an American followed by a racist comment about the worker’s ethnicity. 

The video ends as the woman apparently hits the man or the camera out of the man’s hand. 

KEYT reports the protestors were there to hold the woman accountable for her racist statement and actions. 

The woman reportedly left the building during the protest and went to the police station.

During the gathering, the group walked to the front of the Santa Barbara Police Department and continued to express outrage over the video. After a short while, the group returned to the area of Garden and East Micheltorena Street and dispersed.

The Santa Barbara Police Department issued a statement before noon on Monday clarifying something said in the video.

“In the video, a woman stated, ‘I work for the police.’ The woman has no affiliation with the Santa Barbara Police Department and the police department does not condone her behavior,” the department stated.

The police department acknowledged the “troubling” video stirred emotions and reactions within the community.

“The Santa Barbara Police Department monitored the gathering and supports the right for all individuals to peacefully assemble in order to voice their concerns,” the department stated.

Videos of the interaction posted by @enamoradoalex are provided below:

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A post shared by Edin Alex Enamorado (@enamoradoalex_)

[Ed Note: This article has been updated with information provided by the Santa Barbara Police Department and videos of the incident]

Edhat Staff

Written by Edhat Staff

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  1. No, I truly am curious. I remember an instance in the harbor several years ago when a local boat owner, in his slip, flew the Mexican flag on the boat’s flagpole and the Harbormaster had him remove it. Maybe it’s different for boats? Maritime law or something? Either way, I understand the protesters need to support what the obviously believed was one of their own! Too bad the incident happened at all.

    • Hammonds, are you serious? The harbormaster had someone remove a flag from their boat? That is one hundred percent not a legal requirement or request, I am really skeptical that this could have happened. If it did, the harbormaster would be one hundred percent in the wrong. There is no legal requirement that one fly any flag on their boat, at their house, car, or anywhere else in this country, just as there is no law barring the flying of any flag.

  2. His YouTube information shows that he is an activist: ..” He is now an Activist and City Commissioner in the South East Los Angeles. His work began in 2009 when he and the community got together to disband the corrupt police department of Cudahy and Maywood that was removed completely in July 2010. His work entails of a 5 year experience as the National Lead Field Organizer for the Willie Velasquez Institute. He later went on to work for Senator Bernie Sanders as a Regional Field Director overseeing the Central Coast Of the State of California.”
    I find it an interesting moment in time for these 2 people to have met in this house under construction. She’s a former UC law professor and he works for human rights. If they had met each other , as equals, in Senator Bernie Sanders’ office, their interactions would have been SO different!
    I see a “Sliding Doors” sort of movie idea here: The first meeting in the house under construction and the 2nd meeting in a politician’s office.

  3. I don’t condone what she said but my question is this – she bullied/attempted to intimidate the worker, why is a 50+ person protest in front of her home not also considered bullying/intimidation? Because it was peaceful? What about all the car engines revving, tires squealing and fireworks? Is that peaceful and not intimidating? At first I thought it was a car rally until I heard the bullhorn and chanting.

    • 4:48, personally, I don’t think that it is okay. I understand why they did it but I don’t know that it helps the situation at all.
      I think that a couple of people inviting her to have a calm and polite discussion about why what she did was wrong might have been a better approach. But, here’s the thing, people like her have been shitting on people like for a loooooong time. And, historically, when that guy’s community would dare to speak out, they’d get police dogs, batons and tear gas. The fact that they refused to stop speaking out is why we don’t have that happening very much any more and decent people can go about their day with less likelihood of being attacked and shit on for their ethnicity.

    • 11:53
      Seems like you’re triggered by being held to the same standard as anyone else.
      Racism is bad. If you use the term “white people always” then you are literally saying every single white person every single time. That is literal racism, i.e., the assumption and belief that an individual’s actions will always be predictable and predetermined by their ethnicity.
      If you excuse racism that comes in one package and condemn racism that comes in another package then guess what–you racist AF.
      Beyond that, you claim that “the majority of racists are white people”. LOL. Bring the proof or be quiet. You ever been to Asia? You ever been to China? There are more Chinese people than white people on the entire planet, and Chinese culture is racist AF.
      So, yeah, keep on trying to justify your own racism.

  4. SHOCKED that people are still trying to defend this woman and feel sorry for her after the videos clearly show that she was trespassing, falsely impersonated a police officer, assaulted someone, and made a racist comment.
    Stop with the “I don’t condone her actions but…” statements. You’re excusing her bad behavior by changing the topic because she’s white. If this was a person of color doing everything she did, your statements would be 100% different.

  5. She seems horrible. Probably not guilty of breaking and entering (don’t you have to jimmy a lock or something for the “breaking” part?) but maybe trespassing. And racism or bigotry or both.
    I don’t know if the loud protest was the best way to address this, but it did draw attention to it, and I assume that was the point.

  6. Not clear what the value is of showing the apartment building? It seems likely that someone offended by the bad behavior of the woman mentioned might go there and do damage or even mistakenly harass or attack another resident. We don’t need to escalate these bad behaviors and encourage others to do the same.

  7. I saw the video. I’d like to know more about the situation that brought this about as the TikTok video was missing everything relevant and just had some guy in broken English telling a neighbor that she was on private property as she was inquiring the nature of the construction job. The edit seemed a bit odd.
    What was missing was what kind of work was going on and when and by whom and what brought the situation to that point. Not condoning her behavior in anyway, she obviously lost her senses, but we do have a two tiered system here and commercial construction on a Sunday is not allowed in the city. Was this a permitted build and being worked on by licensed and insured contractors? Or was this another illegal construction job by someone paying someone cash and avoiding the pesky rules that are only for the suckers. I for one am pretty tired of the fact that there are two systems in play in SB. So many people break the law while wanting the law to protect them.
    Again. Not condoning this in anyway but I’d like to know the full story. And why are these people waiving Mexican flags, chanting Viva La Raza while calling others racists? The whole thing stinks.

    • La Raza literally means The Race. That’s why. Not to mention Mexican’s are not a race, they are a nationality and a mix of European and Indio lineages. Mexico is also polarized between these two factions. Polarization that you’d call racist based on your definition. Waiving a Mexican flag on American soil while wanting American laws to protect you is allowed in America and protected by the 1st amendment. I support that right whole heartily, but it doesnt mean it’s appropriate or decent. In this case the irony of a group chanting “long live the race” while calling for the head of a “Gringo” who said to someone “you are Tijauna’n” seems lost on you.
      Maybe focus on the rest of what I wrote and ask yourself what we have a two tiered system that allows one group to break the law while requiring another to pay for and adhere to every rule. Is this situation racist if it’s divided by nationality or is it economic or is it something else? I dont know. You tell me. Frankly I dont care what color or nationality or religion or creed or sexuality a person is, but I do find cheating and being a scofflaw morally offensive.
      Again. I do not condone the actions of this woman that is shown on the video, but I dont know what was actually playing out here nor what this guy said to her that isn’t on the video. Neither you or this mob knows. It’s the very definition of a mob mentality and is a literal witch hunt.

    • For reference, here’s what I saw on the video. A Latino contractor working on a home. An elderly white woman demanding that she knows who he is and what he’s doing. The contractor says she’s on private property and must leave. She says she’s a neighbor and has every right to know what’s going on. He says she doesn’t have the right to be on private property. She then says something random about being against crime and states “I’m an American, and you’re a Tijuanaian” and something else racist that I can’t recall. The contractor says that’s a racist thing to say. The woman takes a step forward then turns around and either hits the man or hits the phone out of his hand. The video ends.

    • So you saw what wasn’t on the video? No. You only saw what he wanted to show. Did he call her names prior and not show that part? I dont know and neither do you.
      I am not white. So your assumptions are showing your true colors. Isn’t that ironic.
      This isn’t worth my time. I said my peace. Your post exhibits the very problem I am trying to showcase better than I ever could.

    • “Waiving a Mexican flag on American soil while wanting American laws to protect you” ….”but it doesnt mean it’s appropriate or decent. ” – You object to people waving the flag of another country while wanting our laws to protect them. You think “Viva la Raza” is racist. You can “justify” all you want, but like this old woman’s comments, you are on the wrong side of humanity on this one.

    • I also saw the video and am baffled by your “assessment” of it. What does it matter if the work was permitted or not. Did this woman work for the city? Is she a fire inspector? No! She’s a nosy neighbor who was rude and intrusive to a guy just trying to do his job. And when he didn’t comply by answering all her questions (because he doesn’t have to) she made a racist comment and then assaulted him. How you can somehow make this into 3 different issues and ignore the main one is baffling. But, sounds about white.

    • Stew, again, your totally valid concerns about people obeying or not obeying the law when doing construction work are absolutely irrelevant to this.
      Beyond that, your whole screed is so off topic and wrong it’s laughable.
      Here, educate yourself:
      Many people incorrectly translate our name, “La Raza,” as “the race.” While it is true that one meaning of “raza” in Spanish is indeed “race,” in Spanish, as in English and any other language, words can and do have multiple meanings. As noted in several online dictionaries, “La Raza” means “the people” or “the community.” Translating our name as “the race” is not only inaccurate, it is factually incorrect. “Hispanic” is an ethnicity, not a race. As anyone who has ever met a Dominican American, Mexican American, or Spanish American can attest, Hispanics can be and are members of any and all races.
      The term “La Raza” has its origins in early 20th century Latin American literature and translates into English most closely as “the people” or, according to some scholars, as “the Hispanic people of the New World.” The term was coined by Mexican scholar José Vasconcelos to reflect the fact that the people of Latin America are a mixture of many of the world’s races, cultures, and religions. Mistranslating “La Raza” to mean “the race” implies that it is a term meant to exclude others. In fact, the full term coined by Vasconcelos, “La Raza Cósmica,” meaning the “cosmic people,” was developed to reflect not purity but the mixture inherent in the Hispanic people. This is an inclusive concept, meaning that Hispanics share with all other peoples of the world a common heritage and destiny.

  8. This whole topic is irrelevant. But, your literal translations and you not being Hispanic show that you have no understanding of these phrases. La Raza has numerous meanings: the people, the community. It’s a chant to make all Latinos, Hispanics, Mexicans, South Americans, etc. feel united.
    AND, you are assuming this Hispanic man is breaking the law by doing unpermitted work. That is racist.
    Protests and rallies are not mob mentality witch hunts. It’s a group of people standing up for what they believe is right. That is their first amendment right. I’m sure you wouldn’t say the auto workers on strike are conducting a witch hunt on the car companies.

    • Hammonds–because the person attacked someone on the basis of their perceived nationality. It’s likely that if the lady had attacked the guy for working on a Sunday or potentially working without a permit and she had not brought issues of nationalism “I’m an American and you’re a Tijuajanan” there would have been no community response on that basis.
      So when someone, for example, attacks someone for being gay, then you would expect people in the gay community to show up and wave a rainbow flag to show support for that person and others in that community who are being attacked. Make sense?
      Now I have a question for you–is this a real question or are you trolling to try and perpetuate anti-Mexican sentiment?

    • SBSTONER – seriously?
      “The camera bop is unacceptable but the camera is not an extension of his person, unless you’re one of those “the letter of the law says” people.” – basic Torts 101. This is civil battery, in addition to possibly assault.
      “Perhaps he was acting indignant and rude? – So what? That’s an excuse to be racist and smack him or his camera? Further, did you watch the video? At what point in their interaction, was he rude? Why did she never say he was rude?
      “Perhaps where he comes from they don’t have noise laws, construction regulations, whatever to the spec we do.” – Again, so what? Stop making excuses. Further, how do you know he “comes from” somewhere else?
      “If I didn’t miss anything “Tiajuanan” is not a racial slur nor is it racist to label someone by birthplace or country of origin.” – Where does he tell her (or you) his “birthplace or country of origin?”
      “Just because he pulled out a camera and caught her stating a fact (she is American and he is not) doesn’t make it de facto racism.” – How do you know he’s not?
      ” I’d be interested to hear her side without the hub bub “she is a racist” spin from the interviewer.” – Then read the LA Times article linked above for yourself. She clearly takes responsibility for her actions.
      Dude, you’ve clearly put a lot of time and effort into proving 1) you don’t know squat about the law, 2) you have no problem generalizing people based on their skin color and voice and 3) you prefer to defend racists over those who are simply working and taking video of their attacker. I’d say “do better,” but it’s clear you can’t.

    • Major stretch to say she hit him. The camera bop is unacceptable but the camera is not an extension of his person, unless you’re one of those “the letter of the law says” people.
      Perhaps he was acting indignant and rude? Perhaps where he comes from they don’t have noise laws, construction regulations, whatever to the spec we do.
      There was no breaking and entering as others have claimed. I suggest you google that if curious what that entails. And she stated her intentions clearly, looking for management and he was already acting indignant when the video starts. We don’t even know if it’s the whole clip or what goading could have happened from either side.
      If I didn’t miss anything “Tiajuanan” is not a racial slur nor is it racist to label someone by birthplace or country of origin.
      Just because he pulled out a camera and caught her stating a fact (she is American and he is not) doesn’t make it de facto racism.
      We don’t know the whole story and people are dragging it way out of proportion. I’d be interested to hear her side without the hub bub “she is a racist” spin from the interviewer.

    • Hammonds, no, that is when you are at sea, not when you are in a slip in a harbor, and typically when you are sailing in foreign waters.
      If there were a legal requirement that private vessels fly the American flag then the harbormaster would be running around taking down funny pirate flags, martini flags, burgees specific to builders, and forcing the 98% of vessels that don’t actively fly an America flag to do so.
      It’s just not the case.

    • SBSURFER – thank you for that link. I think it’s very important for many here to read this, especially the end of the article where they interview people at the protest. It’s easy as a white person to say “Oh, I never see any racism here” or “There was probably a reason she was mad” etc etc…. LISTEN to people who have been the target of it. It’s here. Making excuses for it is just as bad.

    • ERICL – No, that’s not at all “all they did.” Look at this discussion here, look at the other conversations on other social media sites about this. The activists did far more than rightfully shame a racist woman, they brought the topic of racism to the forefront, if not for just a few days, in our community. Sounds like they also rooted out a bunch of racists here…..
      “It says a lot about our supposedly racist society that this is the only racist they can find.” – Who says this is the only racist they ever “found?” That’s ridiculous. You don’t think they’d protest a young man being racist? Have you ever heard/seen the protests against racists? This is your first exposure? Of course not.
      “Or will they branch out and make up racists where there aren’t any.” – Well now you’re just flat out making things up.
      Hey, maybe stop defending racists and bashing those who are trying to end this cowardly, yet common practice. Just do better, man.

    • SBSTONER – Really? Who “agrees” with racism, other than racist and you apparently? Bigotry against racists? Cry me a river.
      So, the words you typed are basically saying, no, actually literally saying, that 1) you think racism is just something that some people agree with and some disagree with (like an opinion), and; 2) we should accept racists in our community and not be prejudiced toward them (bigoted).
      That is what you’re saying. Sadly, I’m pretty sure that’s what you truly believe.

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