West Des Moines police announced that Sunday night Nicole Poole Franklin, 42, was charged with a Hate crime.
Police announced the filing of the felony hate crime charge Sunday in a news release. If Franklin is convicted, her sentence will be much severe.
The hate crime charges filed are in reference to an incident at a conoco gas station were Franklin yelled racial slurs at the station attendant. Police charged Franklin with theft and public intoxication.
Franklin was arrested then.
Then Clive Police Department identified Franklin as the driver of the suspect vehicle that had run over the teenage girl in December 9th. Detectives interviewed Franklin in the Polk County Jail, where she was being held on the other charges. During the interview Franklin not only admitted to being the driver of the car that struck this girl, but also that she had done so intentionally. Franklin told investigators that she ran the girl over because she was, in her words, “a Mexican”. She went on to make a number of derogatory statements about Latinos to the investigators.
Franklin was charged with Attempted Murder and is currently being held in the Polk County Jail.
The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) issued a statement that called for hate crime charges to be filed also in the assault on Natalia Miranda, 14. The Council on American-Islamic Relations on Friday also issued a statement urging hate crime charges, calling it “an apparent racist attack in Iowa.”
“This is the latest victim in what has already been one of the bloodiest years for Latinos in the United States,” Domingo Garcia, LULAC National president said in a statement.
“This attack was a racially motivated hate crime and must be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. We strongly urge Polk County officials to file hate crime charges against the suspect.” said Nick Salazar, LULAC Iowa State Director on a statement on Friday night.
“We believe the hit-and-run was a hate crime. That’s our position and we’re sure that that’s the family’s position as well,” said Joe Henry president of the LULAC Des Moines council.
“To commit this crime without pursuing a hate-crime charge would be wrong. It would give the green light to anybody to do this type of terrible thing.” Henry added.