A Vancouver woman accused of hurling racist slurs and throwing a cup of coffee at an Asian Canadian coffee shop manager in March last year was filmed directing a racist slur at a camera operator while she headed to court on Friday.
Astrid Maria Secreve, a co-defendant of the mischief case with her ex-husband Michel Jean-Jacque Berthiaume, was heading to a courthouse in Richmond, Canada, when she was approached by a CTV News crew that reportedly included a camera operator of Asian descent.
In a video of the incident, Secreve can be seen extending her hand toward the side of the camera, prompting a voice from behind the equipment to say “Don’t touch me.”
Secreve responded with an expletive followed by an anti-Chinese slur, CTV News reported.
She then doubled down by flashing her clothed backside and swearing one more time before entering the courthouse.
Secreve and Berthiaume were both charged with mischief under 5,000 Canadian dollars (approximately $3,964) for the attack at Rocanini Coffee Roasters in Richmond’s neighborhood of Steveston, which occurred on March 29, 2021.
The pair reportedly ignored the coffee shop’s COVID-19 guidelines at the time, which prompted the shop’s manager, identified as Nikki, to call their attention and ask them to change their seats.
The pair refused to move and retaliated against Nikki. Berthiaume poured his mocha on the floor, while Secreve threw a cup of coffee at her, according to reports.
“I was shocked, standing over here, when the lady passed by me [and] she poured the leftover [coffee on] my face and said something like, ‘F*ck you, Chinese,’ those kinds of things,” Nikki said at the time.
At another hearing in July 2021, Berthiaume was filmed yelling anti-Chinese sentiments at protesters.
“I prefer to have English or French or German than to have Chinese in this country," he said. “This is Canada and we have free speech. If we don't like Chinese, we can say it. And I don't like Chinese – and I say it.”
Vancouver made headlines last year after being dubbed the “Anti-Asian Hate Crime Capital of North America.” The city saw a 717% increase in anti-Asian hate crimes from 2019 to 2020, higher than cases reported in 10 of the most populous U.S. cities combined in 2020.
A rally against anti-Asian hate was also held on Friday outside the courthouse.
“We hope they can get educated from the judgment, whatever the judgment is,” said Ally Wong of Stop Anti-Asian Hate.
The co-defendants are set to return to court on Sept. 15.
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