Pennsylvania State Police investigators have identified the woman seen on video calling the state’s second lady the N-word in a grocery store parking lot over the weekend.
Criminal charges have not been filed, and police said in a statement the findings of the investigation will be referred to the Allegheny County District Attorney for review. Officials did not name the woman.
Nonprofit leader Gisele Barreto Fetterman, who is married to Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, said in an interview Monday she made a quick trip to the store without her usual security detail, typically made up of State Police troopers. Barreto Fetterman said she was just a few miles from Braddock, where her husband was formerly the mayor, and the woman in the video recognized her.
She said the woman began yelling racist insults, including: “There’s that N-word that Fetterman married” and “You don’t belong here.” Barreto Fetterman said she froze, the woman returned to shopping, and Barreto Fetterman left the store and got in her car.
That’s when, she said, the woman left the store and came toward Barreto Fetterman, leaned toward the vehicle, pulled down her purple mask, and said: “You’re a n—.” Barreto Fetterman had pulled out her phone and recorded that portion of the interaction.
Warning: The below video contains racist and offensive language.
In a tweet, Barreto Fetterman — who was born in Brazil and came to America as a child — wrote of the woman: “This behavior and this hatred is taught. If you know her, if she is your neighbor or relative, please, please teach her love instead.”
In a statement about the matter, Gov. Tom Wolf said: “The ethnic intimidation and racist speech spewed at the Second Lady of Pennsylvania is shameful and unacceptable.”
Ethnic intimidation is a crime in Pennsylvania that is typically charged alongside other related counts. The office of Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen Zappala didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment Wednesday.