Activists demand legislative action after a Mexican woman is expelled from a pool in North Carolina

Activists from all over the state gathered in Raleigh on Saturday to demand a law change after a Mexican woman and her family were escorted from the pool to play Spanish music.

Family members joined Poder NC, a Latin advocacy group outside the North Carolina State Capitol, to talk about the incident.

They say Veronica Ramirez, Bella Perez and others were in the pool at the Flex Fitness and Recreation Center in Hendersonville on Monday and employees tried to remove the speakers.

“She was listening to English music and didn’t say anything, but we were listening to music in Spanish,” Perez said. Record of the incident Since then, it has been viewed over 8.5 million times on TikTok. “She was ill-mannered and tried to take our speaker off and take it with her.”

In the video, Perez speaks Spanish. Ramirez’s niece and the person who uploaded the video, Bianca Figueroa, provided the translation on TikTok.

The incident happened after a white woman in the pool complained about Spanish music, Figueroa said in a video. She said Ramirez, Perez and others were upset and asked for clarification when the staff tried to take the speaker out of communication.

According to Figueroa, pool staff called the police and took them away, and police arrived at the scene.

“Seeing inequality and racism hurt me,” Perez said in a video in Spanish.

According to Figueroa, she and others left the pool after explaining the situation to police officers.

News & Observer tried to contact Flex Fitness many times on Saturday, but no one answered.

The Henderson County Sheriff’s Office refused to comment on the case, saying no one could tell what happened on Saturday.

Hendersonville is in the western part of the state, about 25 miles south of Asheville and just over 100 miles west of Charlotte.

“We have been silent for too long.”

At a press conference on Saturday, Ramirez came to Raleigh and said, “The women who were with me that day are just having a good day and trying to relieve stress.”

“But the police took them out,” she said in Spanish. “No one knows what that feeling is. I was angry because I couldn’t do anything.”

Volunteer organizers at Poder NC provided an English translation at the event on Saturday.

Figueroa said he spoke to an audience “around the world” for a gathering of 30-40 people.

“This can’t keep happening,” she said. “The women behind me said,’No more.’ They said,’We speak up and speak out in our native language.’

“We have been silent for too long,” Figueroa added.

Poder, NC and his family have a policy in which the Henderson County Sheriff’s Office publishes a case report, releases a 911 call audio, and keeps children out of situations that must be interpreted for law enforcement. Requesting to be established.

Natalia Diez, a spokeswoman for PoderNC, said that when law enforcement officers first arrived at the scene, they spoke English and the children intervened to translate. Then a policeman spoke to the women in Spanish.

Diez said legal protection is needed to prevent children from acting as translators.

“Whenever a police officer is called, it has legal implications,” she said. “How can we expect a 17-year-old girl (often 6 or 8 years old) to fully and accurately interpret the situation on both sides?”

Diez added that the situation could cause permanent emotional trauma in children if their translations were used as the basis for police reports and legal proceedings.

“These children can be turned into oppressive tools for their own families,” she said. “They won’t allow it to other children, so why does it apply to immigrant children, or non-English-speaking children?”

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