December 8, 2023

Santa Barbara police have asked the county district attorney to consider filing trespassing, battery and hate crime charges against a woman who was seen in a viral video arguing with a construction worker.

The woman made statements in the video that were decried as racist and spurred a protest outside Santa Barbara police headquarters.

“Over the last several days Santa Barbara Police Detectives have been investigating the incident that occurred in this recent social media video,” the department said Wednesday in a statement to The Times. “As a result of the investigation, Detectives referred the case to the Santa Barbara District Attorney’s Office for their consideration.”

The Santa Barbara County district attorney’s office could not be reached for comment Wednesday evening.

The video, filmed Saturday, shows Jeanne Umana inside a house being worked on by Luis Cervantes.

Cervantes informs Umana that the house is private property.

“I work with the police so it’s OK,” Umana says.

In a statement released Monday, police said Umana had no affiliation with the department and that the agency “does not condone her behavior.”

Read more: ‘You’re a Tijuanan’: Viral video roils Santa Barbara, spurring hundreds to protest

Cervantes tells Umana that he will call the police.

“I live here. I’m American, you’re a Tijuanan,” Umana says.

“Thank you for being racist, thank you,” Cervantes says, following her off the property.

The video appears to show Umana slapping at Cervantes’ phone.

The video caused a firestorm in the coastal oasis of Santa Barbara, with dozens of people gathering in the neighborhood on Sunday to call for Umana’s arrest.

In an interview with The Times, Umana apologized for her behavior.

“I am truly sorry that this got out of hand, and I regret making statements like that, because I said them in the heat of the moment,” she said. “They were not measured, and whatever I might feel, I don’t have the right to take it out on anybody else. But unfortunately, I lost control.”

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This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.

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