HRC is pushing for a hate crime investigation into the actions of Jazmina Saavedra, Republican congressional candidate from California.

Last week, Saavedra made headlines after accosting a person who she believed to be transgender in a bathroom at a Los Angeles Denny’s. Video of the incident, live-streamed by the congressional hopeful herself, made the rounds. But Saavedra maintained that her privacy was being invaded by the possible trans woman using the restroom.

Now, HRC is urging the state’s attorney general to investigate the incident as a hate crime:

California law defines a “hate crime” as “a criminal act committed, in whole or in part, because of one or more of the… actual or perceived characteristics of the victim,” including gender [and] gender identity… Recording video of someone inside a bathroom without their consent is a criminal act. In addition to potential criminal liability, there could be civil liability for invasion of privacy and violation of the Unruh Civil Rights Act, among other causes of action.

In the letter to the attorney general, representatives from HRC called the incident “extreme and outrageous”: “The actions of Ms. Saavedra send the message that violent or threatening discrimination and segregation of individuals based on their gender identity, expression, or sexuality is acceptable both in private action and as governmental policy.”

Saavedra’s opponent, Democratic incumbent Rep. Nanette Diaz Barragan, issued a statement calling her actions “appalling.”

Samantha Manzella is a writer and copy editor based out of the Hudson Valley. You can find her writing in a coffeehouse or searching Insta for the latest tattoo artist to hit the scene.

@slmjournalist