Woman who ran over girl for being Mexican pleads guilty to hate crime charges

The Iowa woman who told police in 2019 that she ran over a girl because she “was a Mexican” plead guilty Wednesday to federal hate crime charges, according to court records filed in the US District Court for the Southern District of Iowa.

Nicole Marie Poole Franklin had actually been involved in three separate racist incidents in December 2019, according to two police departments.

Footage from the Des Moines Police Department shows Poole Franklin intentionally ran over the leg of a 12-year-old boy, who is Black, in a apartment parking lot and fled. The boy’s injuries were minor.

An hour later, she ran over Natalia Miranda, who was 14 at the time, as she walked to a basketball game, according to the Clive Police Department. This was the incident that made national headlines

An hour-and-a-half after she hit Miranda, West Des Moines police said Poole Franklin used racist slurs toward a clerk and customers at a convenience store and threw items at the clerk.

Poole Franklin pleaded guilty to two counts of hate crime acts which include that she “willfully caused bodily injury to Minor Victim #1…Acted because of Minor Victim #1 actual or perceived race, color, religion or national origin,” according to the plea agreement. The same charges were brought against her for the 12-year-old boy.

As a reminder, Iowa is one of the states that recently passed an “anti-riot” bill said to contain language that would absolve drivers that strike protesters with their vehicles if they are walking on the street. Poole Franklin is certainly an individual that would take full advantage of that provision should it become law.