A gathering is set for Monday evening in front of a city-owned affordable housing complex in Rancho Mirage, where a woman was caught on video demanding that a landscaper provide documents while he worked at the property, in an apparent reference to his immigration status.
The 7 p.m. gathering in front of Parkview Villas, 71740 San Jacinto Drive, is billed as a “celebration of diversity and saying no to racism,” according to a group called Hands of Humanity, which organized the event. Organizers are asking attendees to wear a mask and socially distance.
“We will line the street in a show of solidarity of inclusiveness,” the group wrote on Facebook. “We welcome all cultural groups and people of all walks of life.”
The video, which went viral on social media, shows a white woman approaching a Latino landscaper who was mowing a lawn. The man was repeatedly asking the woman to depart his work area, which he told NBC Palm Springs was near the woman’s apartment.
Without moving, the woman then asked the man “can you show me your papers?” She then continues to ask the same question multiple times until the video cuts out.
The landscaper also told NBC Palm Springs the same woman previously told him to “go back to his country.”
Rancho Mirage city officials recently completed an investigation into the incident, which occurred at a housing complex for people 55 or older and is owned by the Rancho Mirage Housing Authority.
Marcus Aleman, housing manager for the city’s housing authority, said the property management company running the city-owned property also conducted its own investigation, although he did specify if any action would be taken.
“As it stands, any form of harassment of a city vendor is deem(ed) an `incurable breach’ of a tenant’s rental agreement. Any form of discrimination based on race, color, national origin, etc. is deemed as a form of harassment under both state and federal law,” Aleman said.
Messages for the property management company were not immediately returned.
Rancho Mirage Mayor Dana Hobart said in a statement the incident “will not be ignored nor tolerated.”
“The city of Rancho Mirage does not tolerate bigotry or racism by residents of our apartment properties,” Hobart said.
“Our city is committed to implementing and supporting policies and practices that foster diversity and harmony between all residents and all staff and other personnel whom we ask to maintain our apartments.”