Renton officials, police respond to racist snowball incident

Renton Mayor Armondo Pavone and City Council President Randy Corman issued a statement condemning hate speech following an incident downtown in which a woman called a man a racial slur after hitting him with a snowball.

A Youtube video posted on Feb. 14 by an account named “revealkarens” shows an altercation between the man filming on his phone and a seemingly flustered woman during a snowy day.

The man filming the video said he was doing so to record the woman after she allegedly hit his car with a snowball, then hit him in the face with a handful of snow. The man also claimed the woman called him a racial slur for Asian people.

The man, who did not wish to be named, said he called police to report that he had been assaulted. Police took down her description and asked if he needed an ambulance.

After declining the ambulance, the man said he was eventually told that they were adults and would have to work it out between themselves. He said the police never came.

The Renton Police Department made a statement on their social media accounts saying that the officer that the man spoke with was “not made aware of the exchange at the time.”

The same day, Pavone and Corman made a statement during the city council meeting that read:

“We condemn hate speech. Hate speech has the effect of dehumanizing people and carries forward harmful stereotypes and propagates false beliefs through the use of statements of inferiority, slurs, expressions of contempt, disgust or dismissal, cursing, and calls for exclusion or segregation. Such behavior should be and is unacceptable in a community such as Renton that maintains diversity as one of its core values.”

This incident comes during an increasing trend of hate crimes against Asian-Americans. An anti-hate group, Stop AAPI Hate, reported an alarming 2,808 firsthand accounts of anti-Asian hate from 47 states and the District of Columbia between March 19, 2020, and Dec. 31, 2020.