A Texas woman has been dubbed “Taco Truck Tammy” after she was caught on a cellphone video threatening to call Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials on several Latina food vendors parked outside her Dallas home, WFAA reported.
The woman, who asked to be identified as “Valerie,” has been criticized as being racist for her comments during the 49-second video. However, the woman said she was frustrated and used an unfortunate choice of words.
"It was just a moment of a very bad choice of words," she told KXAS. "I regret the comment at the end. It was a flippant comment. It doesn't really reflect who I am. It reflects my frustration."
In the video, the woman confronts some women vendors who were parked near a construction site on her street and tells them to leave.
“OK baby girl, vamanos,” Valerie can be heard telling the women.
“I’m not your baby girl,” one of the vendors said.
"I’ll call I.C.E.!" Valerie said.
“Call them,” the vendor said. “Call them! You can call them! Call them right now!”
Valerie said the video does not tell the entire story.
"I was cleaning to get ready (to show my house to a prospective buyer) and all of the sudden there's the noise of the honking, honking, honking and there's a truck parked outside," she told KXAS.
The woman said she took a picture of at least one worker buying his lunch from the food truck, the television station reported.
"I walked out and said: 'You guys cannot be here. This is a residential area.' And they immediately attacked me, (saying) 'Get back in your house … or we will kick your (butt).' And I'm like, 'Seriously,'" Valerie told KXAS.
“The guys called me, and they were like, 'We’re leaving,' Gabriella Unger, who supervises some construction workers on the street, told WFAA.
Unger told the television station that some of her employees are immigrants from Mexico. She said they feared the neighbor was using the threat of calling I.C.E as intimidation.
"Well, it is very frustrating," Unger told WFAA. "You know, nowadays, we know the situation. But, you know, I wish we were respected more.”
Valerie said she regrets being a hashtag on social media, but added she was scared for her safety when she confronted the workers.
"I took their comments seriously when they told me to go back in my house,” Valerie told KXAS. “... And I like tacos! Just not in my neighborhood," she said with a laugh.
She did, however, regret her choice of words to the workers.
”You know what, it was unfortunate," Valerie told WFAA. "It’s taught me to watch my words, maybe a little more carefully.”
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