Mountain View, California Woman Arrested on Anti-Asian Statements During Theft.

Raven Haengel, Photographer, Writer

In Mountain View, California: 39-year-old Karen Inman was arrested Friday after attempting to steal candy and ice cream at a local Smart and Final on the 100 block of East El Camino Real in Sunnyvale, California. According to local police, Inman told the store employees she did not have to pay because the patrons were of Asian descent. During a more recent incident, Inman yelled at two people within a store, one of whom was Asian while making racial comments and spitting towards them. Police claimed there was no indication of Inman making any racial slurs during that incident. In a statement for Mercury News, Chief Chris Hsiung said, “Mountain View is a vibrant community in many ways thanks to the diversity that exists here,” “Hate crimes have not and will not be tolerated in Mountain View and as this case demonstrates, we take these crimes seriously and will investigate them to the fullest extent.” Inman was detained on the scene but was later released due to the officers not witnessing the incident. According to police, a warrant was issued after prosecutors were able to establish hate crime charges against Inman. This case is not unique to Mountain View, as there were thousands upon thousands of racist and violent events against Asian Americans being reported in the San Francisco Bay Area and across the country since the beginning of the coronavirus epidemic, according to the Stop Hate Against Asian American Pacific Islander project at San Francisco State University. According to KPIX 5, the victims did not want to press charges against Inman due to undisclosed reasons. Inman was taken into custody on charges of petty theft, robbery, and violating a person’s civil rights by force or threat, according to Mercury News. As of Friday, the 5th, Inman is being held in the Santa Clara County Main Jail with $60,000 bail, according to jail records.