22:30 GMT +321 September 2019
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    Colorado woman harasses Hispanic shoppers who were speaking in Spanish

    WATCH: US Woman Arrested for Harassing Hispanic Shoppers Speaking Spanish

    © Screenshot/Faby VelSa
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    Linda Dwire, a woman from Rifle, Colorado, was placed in handcuffs and slapped with harassment charges this week after she decided to corner two Hispanic women at a local grocery store for not speaking English.

    The altercation unfolded inside a City Market grocery store on Monday after Dwire caught Fabiola Velasquez and Isabel Marin talking to one another in Spanish. Footage relating to the incident was uploaded to Facebook on Thursday by Velasquez, who stated in the caption that Dwire had told her and her friend that if they were going to live in the US, they needed to speak only English.

    Video shared by Velasquez captures the moments when another shopper, Kamira Trent, intervened in the situation and shouted down Dwire.

    "You don't harass people. Get out of here, now! I'm calling the cops," Trent tells Dwire as both Velasquez and Marin stand nearby. "You leave these people alone. Get out!"

    Not so easily dissuaded, Dwire strikes back at Trent, saying that she comes from a different generation that is ultimately going to destroy the US. "You will lose your country… you will lose this country," Dwire yells out while waving her finger at Trent.

    The 33-second video comes to a close as Trent shuts down Dwire's generational argument and follows her out of the aisle, telling her to "not harass Hispanic women."

    Trent later told BuzzFeed News that she had initially tried to deescalate the situation by informing Dwire that it was a free country and that she couldn't just tell other people what language to speak. Dwire, according to Trent, didn't take kindly to that message.

    "She just got angrier and angrier. I was trying to get her away from the two women, but she wasn't going to leave them alone," Trent told the publication. "What she said and the way she said it was wrong."

    Rifle Police Department's Carlos Cornejo, the arresting officer, noted in his incident report that upon arriving at the scene, he heard Dwire yelling "this is what is wrong with out country" and that "they should not be speaking Spanish here," according to BuzzFeed.

    In an interview with the outlet, Dwire stated that she was exercising her freedom of speech and that confronting Velasquez and Marin had "nothing to do with race" and more to do with being "patriotic."

    "When people come to my country, they need to love it enough to speak English," she stressed, before admitting that she's lashed out at people before for the same reason.

    Velasquez rejected Dwire's claims, telling BuzzFeed that "if she wasn't racist, she wouldn't care what language we would speak."

    "It baffles me, because I don't understand what concept they have about us [immigrants]. What are we trying to take away from them exactly?"

    After being taken to the Garfield County Jail, Dwire was charged with two counts of bias-motivated harassment. She is scheduled to appear in court in November.


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    Spanish speakers, harassment, Colorado
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