As the white woman screamed in the drugstore entrance about wanting to lynch her fellow shoppers, it didn’t take long for the cellphone cameras to come out.
“I hate [n-word]s!” the woman yelled over the chatter of a CVS cashier in Los Angeles this week, sunglasses shielding her eyes, before repeatedly using the n-word to exclaim that she “would kill” and “lynch” black people.
Her profanity-laden tirade, which has been viewed nearly 2 million times on Facebook as of early Friday, has sparked a police investigation and gained her the Internet moniker #KuKluxKaren — all after she was captured screaming the n-word no less than 14 times.
It’s the latest in a string of viral incidents featuring white people who have spewed that racial slur at African Americans as they go about their lives in nearly every public setting imaginable: eating dinner at a restaurant in North Carolina; shopping for groceries at a supermarket in Connecticut; riding a school bus in Minnesota; and pulling into a parking lot in Massachusetts, to name a few recent examples.
The Los Angeles Police Department confirmed to The Washington Post that it is investigating the episode, which reportedly occurred Tuesday at a CVS on the city’s Colorado Boulevard, as a “hate incident.” Police have not identified the woman in the video, although KTLA spoke to a neighbor who named her as a woman with a history of restraining orders.
It’s unclear what started the outburst on a sunny afternoon in Eagle Rock, a residential enclave in northeast Los Angeles. Everyone seemed to be minding their own business inside the store, a witness, Renée Saldaña, told BuzzFeed News. From somewhere amid the aisles, it sounded like a mother might have been scolding her child.