The woman who was captured on video calling the second lady of Pennsylvania the N-word in a grocery store parking lot won’t face criminal charges in connection with the incident.
Pennsylvania State Police said in a statement Thursday that Gisele Barreto Fetterman, a nonprofit leader who is married to Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, and her family “expressed their desire to avoid prosecution, preferring the woman be given an opportunity to engage appropriate social services and other resources.” Police did not name the woman who was under investigation.
State police investigators this week identified the woman in the video after Barreto Fetterman shared it on Twitter on Sunday and it garnered widespread attention and condemnation.
Barreto Fetterman said in an interview this week that she went to the grocery store Sunday a few miles from Braddock, the Western Pennsylvania town where her husband was formerly the mayor, for a quick trip without her usual security detail. She said the woman recognized her inside the store and hurled racist insults at her, then verbally accosted her once she was in her car.
The video, which Barreto Fetterman captured from inside her vehicle, shows the woman pulling down her face mask and saying: “You’re a n—.”
Warning: The below video contains racist and offensive language.
State police did not specify what charges the woman may have faced. But in a statement Monday, Gov. Tom Wolf condemned the incident and called it “ethnic intimidation,” a crime in Pennsylvania typically charged along with other related counts.
Barreto Fetterman, who was born in Brazil and moved to the United States as a child, and her husband have each been outspoken proponents of progressive criminal justice reform. John Fetterman speaks often of “second chances,” and has aimed to use clemency to free people from prison who were wrongfully convicted (though the Board of Pardons, which he chairs, has pushed back).
In an interview Monday, Barreto Fetterman said she hoped others in the woman’s life would “teach her love.”
“Hate is learned. So is love,” she said. “Maybe this is the beginning of breaking the cycle of hate with this one person.”