Things That Matter

She Chased Latino Teens Off A Playground And Now ‘Swing Set Susan’ Is Facing Criminal Charges

A woman the internet nicknamed “Swing Set Susan” was charged with a felony this week. Samantha Louise Eley, a 38-year-old from Fort Worth, Texas was charged with impersonating a public servant, according to the arrest warrant affidavit

Eley became a viral meme when a video showed her pretending to be a cop in order to intimidate Latinx teenagers off a playground at Dream Park. The video was viewed over 5 million times on Twitter. 

Eley was arrested earlier this week on an unrelated bond violation, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports, from a previous arrest in a domestic violence case. ‘Swing Set Susan’ along with “BBQ Becky” and “Permit Patty,” are a part of a string of recent incidents where white people have invoked the police to complain about people of color’s innocuous behavior. 

‘Swing Set Susan’ targets a group of Latinx teenagers. Then goes viral.

A teenager shared a video captioned with, “We were just trying to play. I guess we’re adults.” The teen was one of many having a good time on a swing at Dream Park when Eley interrupted by pounding on the swing as she screamed at the children. 

“Stop! Stop!” Eley is heard yelling at the teens. “It’s a children’s park, stop. Stop now.”

Eley accused them of not really being kids. When one girl corrected her, she went on a tirade. Eley insisted the playground was only for thirteen-year-olds and under. In a statement by the Fort Worth Police Department, they said the parks and playgrounds are open to all ages, even if some equipment is recommended for younger children. 

“Okay, well, I’m a f—— PD, so get the f— out of here now if you’re not here to play as a child,” Eley screams in the video. 

The girl then says they’re 16. Eley continues to argue with the children about whether they are children, before telling them 16 is old enough to be arrested as an adult. The kids largely remain quiet while some can be heard saying they should just leave. 

The Star-Telegram reported that a man who witnessed the incident told officers Eley left when he said he was calling the real police. 

Fort Worth Police Department investigate the incident. 

According to the Washington Post, Detective B. Cantu created a six-page photo lineup that included a mugshot of Eley. After identifying the teen in the video, they had her come in and choose the offender from the lineup. She chose Eley’s picture. 

“The teen told the detective that she did believe the woman was a police officer and that she and her friends left the park because of their interaction with her, according to the arrest warrant affidavit,” Lateshia Beachum reported for the Washington Post. 

Eley was already in police custody on a charge of bodily injury assault.  When the detective went to read Eley her Miranda rights and to interview her at Tarrant County Jail, she allegedly declined to speak.

The Star-Telegram reported that she had been charged on August 29, for assaulting a family member. In 2014, Eley was also sentenced to 16 months probation. In 2017, she spent 50 days in jail for DWIs, the newspaper found after reviewing Tarrant County court records. 

“Swing Set Susan” could face $10,000 in fines and 10 years of incarceration if she is convicted of impersonating a public servant. 

This isn’t the first time Latinx folk have been targets of white ire.  

In 2017, BuzzFeed News reported a man went on a racist tirade after overhearing a Puerto Rican man speak to his mom in Spanish. 

“Learn how to f—— speak English,” he shouts in a viral video. “We live in America.” 

Puerto Rico is a part of the United States. In 2018, Vox reported a white lawyer who threatened to call ICE when he overhead two restaurant workers speaking Spanish. 

“Your staff is speaking Spanish to customers when they should be speaking English,” he says to one employee in the video. “This is America.” The United States is the second-largest Spanish-speaking nation, with more Spanish-speakers than Spain. 

This year another white man had a meltdown because he couldn’t understand why a Mexican restaurant had a menu in Spanish. 

“That’s bulls—” he said in a video according to The Hill. ‘It says it in Mexican. We’re not in Mexico. We’re in America! Above the border. The red, the line. I’m an American!”

These are just a few incidents of many that have swept the nation since Trump has taken office. In the United States, hate crimes rose by 17 percent in 2017, with anti-Latinx crimes raising by over 24 percent according to the FBI. 

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com

A 70-Year-Old Mexican-American Woman Was Attacked Because Her Assailant Thought She Was Asian

Things That Matter

A 70-Year-Old Mexican-American Woman Was Attacked Because Her Assailant Thought She Was Asian

Photo via @the_asian_dawn/Instagram

In another incident that highlights the anti-Asian sentiment that is on the rise in recent months, a 70-year-old California woman was attacked in Eagle Rock, earlier this month. According to news reports, a young woman attacked her while she was exiting the bus to pick up groceries.

The elderly woman, who goes by Becky, is Mexican-American. But her attacker yelled an anti-Asian slur at her before physically assaulting her.

According to AAPI news site Asian Dawn, Becky’s attacker was a 23-year-old woman who was also riding the bus with her. The woman did nothing to provoke the attack. The young woman ended up dragging the older woman from the back of the bus to the front of the bus. Becky ended up in the hospital with a broken nose, a concussion, two severely swollen eyes, and chunks of her hair torn from her head.

According to Becky’s son, who only goes by Pete, while the family are Mexican-American, people often mistake their family for being of Asian descent. According to Pete, no one intervened to stop the young woman from attacking his mother.

“Nobody would help. Not even the bus driver,” the woman’s son told The Eastsider.

Finally, the young woman stopped her attack after a fellow passenger called 911. The police were able to apprehend the young woman after issuing a bulletin for her arrest.

According to Pete, his mother has a long road of recovery ahead of her. Already suffering from lupus and arthritis, her mother is having trouble walking. Her leg is badly bruised from the assault.

The fact that the victim was Mexican-American serves to illustrate how ignorant and hateful these racist attacks are. There is no rhyme or reason to hate.

Many are linking the rise in anti-Asian hate crimes to the COVID-19 pandemic, as the virus originated in Wuhan, China. The violent racists that have been attacking people who appear to be of Asian descent believe that Asian-Americans are somehow personally responsible for the pandemic.

If you to support the #StopAsianHate cause, donate to organizations like gofundme.com/AAPI or the Asian American Legal defense fund here.

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com

Here’s How You Can Help Daunte Wright’s Family After He Was Killed By Police

Things That Matter

Here’s How You Can Help Daunte Wright’s Family After He Was Killed By Police

Police have taken another Black man’s life, this time it’s 20-year-old Daunte Wright. Protests have broken out in cities across the country as the nation reacts to the killing of yet another young Black man.

But as the nation reacts to the murder, Wright’s family – his mother and child – need all the support they can get right now and thankfully there are many ways that we can all be better allies while helping support the family that Wright leaves behind.

Daunte Wright is the third high-profile police murder in Minneapolis.

Daunte Wright was driving to his older brother’s house with his girlfriend on Sunday afternoon, when police pulled him over for expired tags. Police said they found an existing warrant for Wright’s arrest and attempted to handcuff him.

Bodycam footage revealed Officer Kim Potter shot Wright when she claimed to be reaching for her taser. He died on the scene, just 10 miles from where former police officer Derek Chauvin is on trial for the death of George Floyd.

According to CNN, Daunte’s death is at least the third high-profile death of a Black man at the hands of police in Minnesota in the last five years. And Daunte Wright’s death comes less than a year after the police killing of George Floyd, which sparked protests around the world.

Daunte Wright leaves behind a family still struggling with such an immense loss.

Daunte’s mother, Katie Wright, spoke out about the fear he experienced before his death. Daunte called her after the police pulled him over, at the suggestion of his older brother. “I know my son was scared. He’s afraid of the police, and I just seen and heard the fear in his voice. But I don’t know why, and it should have never escalated the way it did,” Katie told Good Morning America on April 13.

According to Katie, Daunte believed he was getting pulled over for his hanging air fresheners, then she heard “scuffling” and an officer told him to hang up the phone. “I tried to call back three, four times and the girl that was with him answered the phone and she said that they shot him and he was lying in the driver’s seat unresponsive.”

If you’d like to help support Daunte’s family and demand justice, below are a few resources and action items:

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com