Hate Crime Filed Against Iowa Woman Who Ran Over Latina Girl On Her Way To Middle School
She doesn’t remember the impact, thankfully. The 14-year-old victim doesn’t remember a lot about that fateful night in which a white woman violently ran her over with her car. She does remember the moment right before, in which a car was coming toward her, the next thing she can recall is waking up in pain, laying in the snow wondering what happened. What happened to her was an attack on her just because of her heritage and existence.
Police have charged Nicole Marie Poole Franklin, a 42-year-old Iowa woman, on multiple counts related to crimes she allegedly committed on Dec. 9. One of those crimes was against a Latina teen.
Police report that Franklin will be tried on multiple charges that stem from horrific crimes, all of which occurred on the same day. The one crime she has confessed to is running over a 14-year-old Latina who was walking to school on her way to an event there.
On Dec. 20, the Clive Police Department in Iowa reported that the “vehicle left the roadway and ran the girl over. She suffered numerous injuries. The driver and vehicle left the scene without rendering aid to the girl. Earlier, the Clive Police Department requested the public’s help in locating the driver. At that time, it appeared to be a hit and run accident.”
When police finally identified the driver, the alleged assailant told police she ran her over because “she looked Mexican.”
“During the interview, Franklin not only admitted to being the driver of the car that struck this girl but also that she had done so intentionally,” the police stated. “Franklin told investigators that she ran the girl over because she was, in her words, ‘a Mexican.’ She went on to make a number of derogatory statements about Latinos to the investigators.”
Franklin was charged with attempted murder in that case, along with “assault, theft, consumption, intoxication, and possession of illegal substances,” NBC News reports.
Police report that the woman also allegedly ran over a 12-year-old black boy on the same day.
On Monday, police added charges to Franklin related to a hit-and-run of a boy who was left with minor injuries. She was also charged with attempted murder in that case as well.
The Washinton Post reports that “Franklin struck the 12-year-old boy with an SUV as he walked on a sidewalk within the apartment complex where Franklin lives. Witnesses said the car accelerated as Franklin jumped the curb and hit the child’s leg, then fled the scene, according to police and an incident report.”
Sgt. Paul Parizek of the Des Moines Police Department told the Post that there’s a surveillance video of Franklin hitting the boy and not stopping.
“She doesn’t even hit the brake,” Parizek told The Post. “Lot of times with a hit-and-run crash, the first thing the person does is stop — like ‘oh, my God, what did I do.’… This one, none of that.”
He also added that the crime against the black boy is possibly motivated by hate as well. Officials also say that the first crime Franklin allegedly committed that day was when she stopped at a convenience store. The Des Moines Register reports that Franklin “threw items at a clerk and directed racial epithets at him and customers.”
On Christmas Eve, Franklin was finally charged with a hate crime even though initially the District Attorney said that she already had two attempted murder charges against her, and those charges could lead to a longer prison sentence than if they added hate crime to her offenses.
Just a few days ago, Polk County Attorney John Sarcone told the Des Moines Register that adding a hate crime charge “wouldn’t necessarily achieve the justice the community is demanding.”
“I can’t specifically talk about her case,” Sarcone told the paper. “All I can say is attempted murder is a Class B felony. That’s a 25-year sentence — 17 1/2 are mandatory. It’s five times any sentence you would get on a hate crime.”
He added, “It may sound nice, but it doesn’t help anything. When it’s appropriate to enhance, we’ll do it.”
Thanks to the demands of advocates of the victims, those new charges will be added to the slew of crimes against Franklin. Advocates said that it was crucial to include the hate crime charges because if they didn’t it would send the wrong message to future assailants.
Joe Henry, president of the Des Moines branch of the League of United Latin American Citizens, told the Washinton Post that not charging Franklin with a hate crime “would give the green light to anybody to do this type of terrible thing.”
Click here to sign a petition that demands justice for the Latina victim.
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