Protests Erupt After Video Shows Store Employee Punch Black Woman

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Someone nearby captured the punch on video, and once it was shared on the internet on Sunday, local residents organized a protest outside of the store on Monday.

Video footage showing a Tulsa, Oklahoma, store owner punching a black female customer has sparked outrage and prompted protests.

According to the local NewsOn6 report, April Harding had to get three stitches in her lip after being assaulted by an employee at Anna & Jun’s Beauty Supply.

“He didn’t have to do anything that he did,” Harding said, “especially not hit me in my face.”

According to Harding, the employee confronted her 3-year-old child who had grabbed a keychain and almost walked out of the store with it. Apparently, Harding defended her child, and a verbal confrontation ensued.

“We had words, and then I attempted to walk away from him,” she said. “When I did, I did my hand like this, like ‘whatever,’ and when I did, he grabbed my arm and spun me around and punched me in the lip.”

Someone nearby captured the punch on video, and once it was shared on the internet on Sunday, local residents organized a protest outside of the store on Monday.

“How is it that he can continue to have a store here and punch a woman whenever he gets ready?” asked local resident Iye Mooamusan.

Both of the store’s neighborhood locations were closed on Monday, presumably to avoid protesters. However, many residents said they want the store to shut down for good.

The Rev. Mario Johnson reportedly said, “...if we’re not treated with respect, they don’t need to be open.”

“We need to shut this store down,” said another resident named Kristi Williams. “They don’t deserve one penny from us.”

Harding said she is thankful that someone in the area was able to capture the ordeal on video. If no one had been around to record, “nobody would know about it and he wouldn’t be shut down today,” Harding said.

No arrest has been made, although a police report was filed following the incident.

Violence is never acceptable, and it is particularly egregious and highly frowned upon in this country for a man to physically assault a woman. Furthermore, the employee should never have engaged in an altercation with Harding if she returned the item that her young child took. There are very few 3-year-olds who have a strong concept of shoplifting, and the mother was correcting her child's mistake. 

Black people are enduring far too much abuse and disrespect for trivial reasons, and oftentimes for no reason at all. It is critical that these instances continue to be documented to serve as tangible evidence of the racially-charged attacks African-Americans experience day in and day out. 

Banner/Thumbnail Photo Credit: Flickr, Fibonacci Blue

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