A couple in California was arrested last week on hate crime and vandalism charges after getting out of their truck at a traffic stop, doing a Nazi salute and shouting “only white lives matter” at a dark-skinned man and his girlfriend.
On Friday, the Torrance Police Department said in a press release that Gregory and Rachel Howell, both 29, were arrested for vandalism and hate crime charges. According to Los Angeles County Sheriff's Office records, the couple was released the same day on bail.
The woman Itzel Lopez, was in the passenger seat, while her boyfriend, a dark-skinned man, was driving home from her birthday party on July 23. They noticed that the couple was following them from behind for a couple of minutes. According to the woman the truck cut in front of them as they approached a red light at the intersection of Artesia Boulevard and Prairie Avenue around 10:30 p.m. in Torrance, Calif.
The situation escalated between the two couples and Lopez started recording on her phone, as a man and a woman jumped out of their truck and approached the vehicle she was riding in. Lopez posted the video on her Instagram, showing a woman, Rachel Howell, showing her middle finger and yelling “all lives matter b****.” She then yells “Only White lives matter.” The man, Gregory Howell was shouting “White power” and making a Nazi hand salute. He then drags a shovel from his car and hits the victims’ car as they drove away.
“We were just in shock. We didn’t know what was going on,” Lopez told KTLA. “Never in my life did I think I was going to experience this. It’s actually really scary. They don’t even know you and they’re willing to hurt you.”