A woman angered by coronavirus-related closures at Dolores Park was filmed wielding a pair of scissors and lobbing racist remarks at a park outreach worker on Sunday, according to a Facebook post.
The woman tore down the blockade of a children’s playground at the park, according to the post by Andrés Patino, a public outreach coordinator with the San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department.
The play area is currently closed due to COVID-19 health orders, according to Recreation and Parks Department spokesperson Tamara Aparton.
The unidentified woman told Patino the rope and signs blocking the Helen Diller Playground at Dolores Park were “unconstitutional” and an “unlawful taking of public property.”
“Don’t you dare shut this park. We paid for this park,” the woman said in the video, which was posted on Facebook Monday. Patino encountered the woman while conducting outreach for the “LoveDolores” campaign Sunday and reminding visitors to wear masks and stay physically apart, Aparton said.
The woman in the video then began directing disparaging remarks at Patino, who was born in Colombia and moved to the United States at the age of 9, and used what appeared to be a racial slur.
“Go back to wherever the hell you came from,” the woman said. “Stop trying to steal the property we paid for.”
In a Facebook post, Patino said of the woman: “No one else should have to deal with your behavior here in SF or anywhere else,” labeling her as ‘Karen,” a pejorative referring to middle-aged white woman perceived as entitled. “Even in our liberal city of San Francisco this is happening, and it’s up to us to say, ‘No Karen, BYE!!’”
The video shows that a park ranger asked the woman to stop removing the signs and leave. She was escorted out of the park. Park rangers forwarded the complaint to the police department and an investigation is ongoing, according to Aparton.
“Hate simply has no home in Dolores Park or San Francisco,” Aparton said in a statement. “Our parks must be spaces where we are all equal and equally welcome; places where we can invest in mental and physical health and respect our neighbors’ fundamental instinct to do the same.”