BAYONNE, New Jersey (WABC) -- Police in New Jersey have made an arrest after another viral incident of racism and harassment was caught on video.
The incident happened around 8 a.m. Monday in Bayonne, where the victim, 40-year-old Tameka Bordeaux, was followed by a woman screaming expletives and racial slurs at her.
Bayonne police have since arrested 60-year-old Claudia Emanuele, who is charged with bias Intimidation and harassment.
Bordeaux told police that she left her home in the morning and observed Emanuele talking to the mail carrier regarding the late delivery of mail.
As she approached, she said Emanuele immediately shouted racially charged epithets at her. She said she attempted to calm her neighbor, who continued to shout slurs.
Bordeaux said she walked away, heading toward a convenient store, but Emanuele followed and continued shouting at her.
A passerby attempted to intervene and walked with Bordeaux to the store, while a second good Samaritan was able to calm Emaneule, ultimately coaxing her to leave the area.
Bordeaux was able to capture the incident on video, which she turned over to the police department for investigation.
Authorities say Emanuele was quickly identified as the woman on the video, and detectives responded to her home and took her into custody just before 1 p.m..
Emanuele had recently relocated to Bayonne from Tennessee in September of 2020.
New Jersey Assemblywoman Angela McKnight issued the following statement regarding the incident:
"I watched the social media live video posted by Tameka Bordeaux of her being racially harassed as she walked down a street in complete outrage and disgust. The white woman shown in the video trailed her and hurled the worst racial epithets imaginable to a Black woman who was calmly walking down a Bayonne street on the way to a store. This behavior is becoming so common now that we simply refer to these racist people as 'Karen' and let it go. I can't just do that. I put myself in Tameka's shoes and I know it had to take a lot of restraint for her to endure what she went through today. I thank her for being the strong black woman that she is to remain calm and reserved during the entire ordeal. This matter needs to be investigated for sure but regardless of the outcome of the investigation, one thing for certain is that Tameka was incredibly wronged today. We know Bayonne has a history of racist behavior and we can no longer sit by and make excuses for residents in any New Jersey town to ever be allowed to call someone the N word. This 'Karen' went on a rant for more than 4 minutes repeatedly yelling this word and other discouraging names while following a Black woman. To read the comments of some white people now making an excuse or defense for this behavior is alarming and gets us to the real problem of this systemic situation. Regardless of the mental state of this "Karen," as social media refers to her, she was able to walk up and down the street and have a conversation with a mailman, but somehow be triggered enough by a Black woman to call her the N word and follow her for blocks. This is a racist act. There is nothing to debate in social media here. At the end of the day what she did was totally wrong, disrespectful and unacceptable. We have to make people accountable for themselves. If people are sick, then we have to get them help. But we cannot excuse racism, ever."
State Senator Sandra Cunningham also issued a statement.
"It is horrible to wake up this morning to this appalling video of Tameka Bordeaux being harassed as she walked down her block," she said. "As a Black woman, it is beyond sad and frustrating to have to still listen to this kind of shameful and offensive language as we embark on a new year. I know in my heart that the majority of humanity does not want hatred to be our way of life. I want to emphasize that in this particular situation, this is the ignorance of one racist woman and we cannot say her behavior represents the opinion of an entire city or racial group. Unequivocally, we must stand together to condemn racism, discrimination, and all acts of hatred."
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