BROCKTON (CBS) – A woman accused of a racist tirade at a Brockton supermarket was ordered to stay away from her accuser Wednesday.
Gloria Downey, 65, of Easton, pleaded not guilty to several charges at her arraignment in Brockton District Court, including assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, assault and battery to intimidate, a civil rights violation and malicious damage to a motor vehicle.
Downey and Lola Jean-Baptiste, 58, of Brockton, got into an argument over a parking space at the Market Basket on Westgate Drive back on February 1.
According to the police report, Jean-Baptiste told officers Downey called her the n-word and told her to “go back to Africa.” Jean-Baptiste said she walked away and went into the store. Downey then approached her inside and, according to Jean-Baptiste, said “I just f—-d up your car.” Jean-Baptiste went outside and found the hood and driver’s door of her car scratched. Downey left before police arrived.
Investigators said surveillance video shows Downey walk around Lola’s car and then into the store. According to the police report, video inside the store shows them exchanging words and Downey shoving her shopping cart into Jean-Baptiste.
A witness later told police she saw a white woman “shouting racial slurs and insults” at a black woman before she “smashed her shopping carriage into the black woman.”
“The white woman was yelling help while she was doing this,” the witness said in the police report.
At her arraignment Wednesday, Downey was ordered to stay away from Jean-Baptiste, the accuser’s home and family, and the Market Basket in Brockton.
Jean-Baptiste’s daughter, Corie Blain, represented her in court Wednesday. “My mom is taking it day by day. It makes her very sad sometimes to think about the incident,” Blain told WBZ.
Downey left court on a promise to appear at her next hearing on May 8. Blain hopes that the media attention sends a powerful message. “It shouldn’t have happened in my town,” Blain said. “It shouldn’t happen anywhere.”