A confrontation between two women in a Norwich Starbucks drive-thru ended in a racist incident Tuesday morning.
Marcela Lee, a black woman who was buying her breakfast at Starbucks, said that a white woman behind her in line started revving her engine and yelling at Lee that she was late for work. What happens next was captured on a Facebook Live video recorded by Lee.
"When she started screaming at me out of her window that is when I was like, you know, I don’t know how ugly this is going to get so I kind of want this to be recorded just in case anything goes wrong," said Lee. "Honestly I am really, really glad that I did."
Later in the video you can hear the woman yell profanities and a racial slur at Lee.
"She proceeded to call me a stupid, ugly dumb, n-word and then sped off," said Lee.
Norwich Police learned about the video and asked Lee to file a complaint. There is now an ongoing investigation.
"It is not tolerated in Norwich," said Chief Daley. "We are better than this."
Lee said that the incident filled her with sadness and rage, however since then she has learned that the Starbucks employees who were working that day, who showed her kindness during the incident, have been helping police with the ongoing investigation.
"We thank them for doing the right thing," said Lee. "There was such a great opportunity here for them to turn a blind eye and say I don't want to be involved."
Thursday afternoon Lee returned to Starbucks to thank the workers in person.
"The youth is the truth. We thank you. We thank you," Lee chanted.
She arrived with a crowd and collected donations to give to the workers. Lee said she wanted to highlight their actions, especially during these difficult times.
"There is a lot of anger and hatred and, rightfully so, I think everybody has a right to feel what they want to feel right now and to be angry and to be upset," said Lee. "But I think we also need to be reminded that there are people who are willing to stand up for what is right."
The Starbucks workers could not comment, but a spokesperson told NBC Connecticut, "we are touched by today’s actions and take great pride in how our partners support the communities they serve every day."
"You made your community incredibly proud," said Lee. "You restored faith in a lot of places where there was faith that was being lost."