Washington, D.C. – A Washington woman says she is being harassed at a supermarket in a recent incident that she says was a hate crime.
Marlena D. Johnson, of Washington, said she was shopping with her family Sunday at the Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport when she said the store attendant came to her and started screaming at her that she should “go back to your country,” according to the Washington Post.
Johnson, who is Hispanic, said the woman repeatedly yelled at her to “go to your own country,” and that the person who was yelling at her, identified as a female, also yelled at Johnson to “Go back to where you came from.”
Johnson, 26, said that she did not have a problem with the store’s policy but that she felt unsafe walking to her car.
She said she asked the store clerk to stop yelling and called the police, but the woman continued yelling.
The woman, identified in court documents as Mary E. O’Connor, also told Johnson she “just wanted to do a favor for me” and that she was in the country illegally and should not be detained, according to court documents.
Johnson said she had a valid ticket, but O’Connell also said she did.
Johnson said she called the store to report the harassment and to ask the clerk if she could call the police.
O’Connor told Johnson that she could but did not respond.
After speaking with police, Johnson said, she called Hartsfields-Jackson Airport police, who said the incident was a “hate crime,” the Washington Times reported.
The Associated Press did not immediately return a request for comment.
The Washington Post reported Monday that Hartsfeld-Jackson has been the subject of a number of complaints in recent years, including a 2015 report that found that stores were selling goods at a profit in violation of federal law and the city’s “hate-crimes” ordinance.
Hartsfield Jackson has a store on the north side of the airport that sells clothes, clothing, footwear and other items, according the AP.