An Ohio woman has been sentenced to six months in prison for using the “n-word” and aggressively driving at a pair of Black teenagers.
Angela Baker, 43, was convicted on two felony counts of ethnic intimidation, as well as misdemeanor aggravated menacing.
In July 2020, she encountered two teen brothers while living in her car in the parking lot of a Meijer grocery store in Toledo.
She allegedly made a lewd gesture at the boys, before yelling the “n-word” at them and driving her towards them. In an interview with police, she confessed to charging at the boys with the car to scare them, and used racial slurs numerous times to refer to the teens and Black people more generally.
“This happened a little after George Floyd was murdered ... Racism is ignorant and should never exist,” Rebecca Velasquez, the boys’ mother, told the Toledo Blade on Thursday. “The color of your skin should never get you killed, hurt, or have you frightened. Let racism die, not our people.”
A lawyer for Baker, Adam Houser, asked the court to order mental health treatment for the woman, who had previously been diagnosed with manic bipolar disorder, and who had survived domestic violence and homelessness, which the court denied.
During her sentencing, Baker became agitated and cried out “I’m being terrorised” multiple times, while claiming she had been “harassed, threatened, and tormented” by Black people in the past. “I wasn’t out to kill them. Okay, yeah, I said a stupid word. Who cares?” she said.
Prosecutors said they were sympathetic to Baker’s previous struggles but that didn’t excuse her conduct.
“I’m unaware of any mental health issues that end up in people being racist or doing racist things, such as what happened here,” prosecutor Khaled Elwardany said in court on Thursday.
“I understand that she has gone through things in her life, but what she put [the victims] through is totally unwarranted”
After serving her sentence in prison, Baker has been ordered into Ohio Link, a transitional programme for inmates, as well as five years of probation.