A Washington state woman, Sandra Jametski, allegedly used Facebook Live to record her racially charged rant while tailing a Latina in her car and threatening to ram her vehicle, according to court documents. For her actions, Jametski was charged with malicious harassment, which is classified as a hate crime in the state.
The Seattle Times revealed on Tuesday that the 48-year-old remains jailed based on a video that she recorded on her smartphone. Jametski followed a neighbor, identified only by her first name, Dolores, as she drove her son to school, King County prosecutors said.
The woman, who also goes by Sandra Huddleston, continued recording as she confronted Dolores, a Mexican immigrant, in the parking lot of the school.
Facebook has taken down Jametski’s 10-minute video. The Seattle Times made available a two-minute version, which excludes the racial slurs:
“You get a super good look everybody, this is what it’s called to be Spanish privileged in America,” Jametski says in the video.
“And she’s going where I used to live. Welcome to my neighborhood.
“This is America. We don’t drive like that here. We don’t drive like you’re in Mexico, lady.
“It’s okay to lie to a police officer if you’re Spanish. They get away with it here in America.”
Later she added, “This is my freakin’ neighborhood. This is where I grew up. I grew up here, not them. This woman don’t deserve to belong here. She don’t belong here.”
Jametski blames one of Dolores’ children for causing a car accident a year earlier, though police records show Jametski was at fault.
An excerpt of the probable cause document obtained by KIRO 7:
Dolores did not call 911 immediately following the confrontation with Jametski, which occurred in November. After a friend sent Dolores a link to the Facebook video later that night, her daughter, Adriana, called the police.
Jametski has been held on $500,000 bail since early December. The bail is high due in part to her criminal history that includes convictions for second-degree assault. And, her actions amounted to “an attack on the entire Latino community,” Senior Deputy Prosecutor Mike Hogan said.
Hogan said that without the video, it’s unlikely Jametski would have been reported, let alone charged with a crime.
She had pleaded not guilty to the charge of malicious harassment, which the state defines as intentionally injuring a person, damaging property or threatening someone because of his or her perception of the victim’s characteristics, such as race.
Last week, four people in Chicago used Facebook Live to broadcast torturing a man with special needs. The video remained on Facebook for 30 minutes before it was taken down.
The perpetrators in the video were charged with aggravated unlawful restraint, felony aggravated kidnapping and aggravated battery while committing a hate crime.
Jametski’s video and the video filmed in Chicago were both removed, whereas a Facebook spokesperson said that videos that condemn violence are usually allowed.
“We do not allow people to celebrate or glorify crimes on Facebook and have removed the original video [of the incident in Chicago] for this reason,” the spokesperson said in a statement last week.
“In many instances, though, when people share this type of content, they are doing so to condemn violence or raise awareness about it. In that case, the video would be allowed.”
In a live-stream video, the girlfriend of Philando Castile, who was killed at a traffic stop, detailed the incident and showed what followed.
In July, Diamond Reynolds, a Minneapolis-area woman, streamed a live video of her fianc, Philando Castile, being shot by a police officer during a traffic stop. The video was initially taken down from Facebook but was then republished.
Authorities used the video as evidence, and Jeronimo Yanez, the suburban police officer who fatally shot Castile, was charged with manslaughter in November.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is said to personally support the video live-streaming product, which “he sees as instrumental to the next stage of Facebook’s growth, and has been one of the most prolific users of the feature,” according to The Guardian.
There has been a huge ad campaign promoting the product on billboards and on television urging people to use it but at what cost to the consumer Facebook users must pay the price of potentially viewing a disturbing, horrific video if it is not caught and taken down quickly.
According to Mashable, “There’s an opportunity for artificial intelligence to improve not only the response time of taking down videos, but perhaps a process for tipping off the proper authorities, if Facebook choose[s] do so.”
Perhaps there is a capacity to do so, as in December, Facebook, Twitter, Microsoft and Google said in a statement they have created an information-sharing initiative to identify and remove content on their platforms that promotes terrorism:
“We commit to the creation of a shared industry database of ‘hashes’ unique digital ‘fingerprints’ for violent terrorist imagery or terrorist recruitment videos or images that we have removed from our services.”
Facebook’s definition of terrorism may need to be expanded.