SEATTLE - Seattle Police need help identifying the suspect in a hate crime assault last week.
Authorities say on Nov. 18 around 3:30 p.m., a man was recklessly driving a dark-colored hatchback through downtown Seattle. He reportedly stopped at First Avenue and Columbia Street and yelled at 75-year-old Harriett Walden, calling her racist names and insulting her.
On Tuesday, Walden spoke about the incident.
"It happened really rapidly. I was just crossing the street and he had a problem with the melanin," she said.
Walden says she was walking downtown on the way to visit her son and granddaughter. She says when she got to the intersection, a driver started a fight with her, calling her racial slurs. She says the driver then threw a motor oil canister at her.
"It’s like if someone socked your mom, and she had never been hit before. I was hit hard," she said.
King County data shows some concerning numbers from the last few years when it comes to this kind of violence.
The numbers show since 2018, there have been 209 hate crime cases in the county.
The data also shows racially motivated hate crimes are what the county sees most often when it comes to hate crimes, and Black individuals are the targets of these crimes more than any other race.
Walden says she is sharing her story in hopes of bringing change.
"Look where we could be if hatred could win, but it’s not going to win. I’m calling on leadership, I’m calling on the media. Let’s come up with a plan on how we can do this together," she said.
For Walden, fighting for a cause is nothing new. As the founder of Mothers For Police Accountability, she has been fighting for justice in Seattle for about 30 years.
She says if the community works together, there will be no place for hate in the city.
"It’s about us now. It’s about us who love Seattle," she said.
There is not much information regarding the suspect. Police believe the suspect drove a dark-colored, possibly lowered, hatchback.
Anyone with information on the suspect or the incident is urged to call Seattle Police's violent crimes tip line at (206) 233-5000.
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