A Dallas bartender was charged with misdemeanor assault after cell phone video showed him punching a woman in the head five times in a parking-related dispute, according to The Dallas Morning News.
The bartender, Austin Shuffield, is a 30-year-old white man. The victim, 24-year-old L'Daijohnique Lee, was a black woman. The racial aspect of the crime has civil rights activists threatening protests if Shuffield doesn't face more severe punishment.
"To those in Deep Ellum, if you don't do right by us, I say shut Deep Ellum (the neighborhood where the assault occurred) down," Said Olinka Green of the Next Generation Action Network. "Don't give them our money. Don't give them our green money if you can't protect our black and brown bodies."
What happened: Lee told police she had been driving the wrong way down the street, so she stopped. She said Shuffield got out of his truck to tell her to move, because she had stopped in front of his parking lot exit.
Lee moved her vehicle into the parking lot, where Shuffield allegedly got out of his car to try to take pictures of her license plates. That sparked an argument.
Recorded video of the incident picks up here, where Lee is seen on her phone, apparently about to call the police. Shuffield pulls out a handgun and holds it behind his back. Then Shuffield slaps the phone out of her hands, and then Lee hits Shuffield in the face.
Shuffield then punches Lee with his right hand to the left side of her face. She bends over, no longer fighting back, and Shuffield continues with four more punches to her head. He then kicks her phone, which had fallen on the ground.
Video Shows Man Repeatedly Punching Woman In Deep Ellum www.youtube.com
Shuffield claims he hit Lee in self defense, claiming she threatened to pepper spray him and broke his back windshield. He was arrested Thursday morning and released after he posted $2,000 bond. He was also fired from his job as a result of this incident.
Hate crime? Some Dallas activists and Lee's attorney believe the charges against Shuffield are not severe enough, believing he should be facing felony charges for committing a hate crime and for pulling the gun on Lee.
"Our office is speaking with the Dallas Police Department and the Dallas County District Attorney's office to ensure all appropriate charges are pursued including felony assault, firearm and hate-crime related charges," Lee's attorney Lee Merritt said in a statement.