A bigoted Boston duo beat up a mom and her teenage daughter because they were speaking Spanish, the woman alleges.
The Feb. 15 encounter has outraged a Boston civil rights group, which is calling for more Spanish-speaking police officers to prevent similar attacks.
The 46-year-old woman, identified only as Ms. Vasquez, and her daughter, 15, were walking through East Boston — chatting in their native tongue — when two women approached them, Vasquez told reporters this week.
“My daughter and I were attacked, punched, kicked and bitten by two white women,” Vasquez said, through a translator. “As they beat us, they yelled, ‘This is America, speak English.’”
A video shows both sides exchanging blows under the streetlights before onlookers separated them.
The alleged assailants — Jenny Leigh Ennamorati and Stephanie Armstrong, both 25 — admitted to cops that they “had been drinking and acting belligerent,” The Boston Globe reported, citing a police report.
The women said they believed Vasquez and her daughter were “making fun of them.”
Civil Rights Boston, which is representing Vasquez and her daughter, said the encounter is part of a scourge of racism and xenophobia in the city.
“Most of the time, victims and witnesses are reluctant to speak out of fear and trauma,” Janelle Dempsey, a lawyer for the group, wrote in a statement. “But the Vasquez family wants the police to hold the assailants accountable.”
Ennamorati and Armstrong were each charged with two counts of violating constitutional rights with bodily injury and two counts of assault and battery charges. Ennamorati faces additional charges of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon.
Suffolk County District Attorney Rachael Rollins also condemned the “racist” attack.
“The sense of entitlement and privilege these defendants must have felt to utter these hateful and racist words, and then to physically attack a mother and her child for laughing and speaking Spanish is outrageous and reprehensible,” she said in a statement.
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