An Iowa woman who made headlines after she admitted to running over a young girl because she was Latinx has been charged with hitting a 12-year-old Black boy.
Nicole Marie Poole Franklin was charged with attempted murder after she intentionally hit 14-year-old Natalia Miranda with her Jeep Grand Cherokee on December 9. She later admitted she struck the girl because she is “a Mexican,” according to The Daily Beast.
“Franklin told investigators that she ran the girl over because she was, in her words, ‘a Mexican,’” Clive Chief of Police Michael Venema said during a press conference last week. “She went on to make a number of derogatory statements about Latinos to the investigators.”
Miranda was hospitalized for her injuries before returning to school a week after the incident. The only thing she remembers is seeing the SUV speeding toward her.
“I just remember the car coming toward me,” Miranda told KCCI. “I was just a girl walking to a basketball game. I didn’t deserve this; I didn’t deserve to get hit by a car.”
Days later, investigators determined Franklin struck another child about 30 minutes before she attacked Miranda, per The Washington Post. Witnesses told the police Franklin accelerated before her SUV jumped a curb in an apartment complex and hit the boy in the leg. After the hit, she sped off. Surveillance tape provided by the complex connected Franklin’s vehicle to the incident. The boy’s name has not been released.
“She doesn’t even hit the brake,” said Sgt. Paul Parizek of the Des Moines Police Department. “A lot of times with a hit-and-run crash, the first thing the person does is stop — like ‘oh, my God, what did I do.’ … This one, none of that.”
Police eventually caught up to Franklin at a convenience store after employees called the police because she was shoplifting and yelling racial slurs, according to The Des Moines Register. She is facing a slew of charges in addition to the attempted murder charge including public intoxication assault, driving under the influence and theft. Community members are pushing for a hate crime charge but police are reluctant because it is only a penalty enhancer for other offenses. Adding the hate crime charge means the attempted murder charge could be dropped.
"The collective voice of metro law enforcement, and the communities we serve, is sending the message that if you commit biased-based crimes, we will charge you with the most serious offense applicable, with the most severe consequences," Parizek said. "In this case, that charge is attempted murder."