Charges Against African-American Victim In Nail Salon Brawl Dropped

“What I’m here to do right now is to get justice for my 58-year-old mother, my 21-year-old daughter, that had acetone thrown on them and got beat with sticks like they are in the 1960s,” said Abby Moses.

UPDATE: One of the customers who was assaulted at a salon in Brooklyn, New York, had her charges completely dropped, Gothamist reports.

Christina Thomas, 21, one of the victims in the racially-charged attack and the woman whose charges were dropped, told reporters that she’s happy.

"It's sad it took so long, but I'm definitely relieved," Thomas said.

Thomas, alongside her grandmother, Thelma Medley, and another relative, were assaulted by workers of New Red Apple Nails after she refused to pay a $5 charge for a bad eyebrow job.

At least one other woman, 32-year-old Huiyue Zheng, still faces charges of assault and weapon possession. She could spend up to a year in jail if found guilty.

To activists who are angered at how the African-American customers were treated, charging any of the women who were brutalized is out of the question. So, they started an online petition calling for New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo to get involved, urging him to shut down the salon altogether.

The stated goal of the petition is to help ensure that “toxic establishments” are removed from the community.

When they obtain 10,000 signatures, they may have enough to prompt a response from the governor.

The fact that so many locals are getting together to fight racism by showing solidarity with Thomas and her family is the one silver lining from this ordeal as it serves as an example of unity during a time when there is so much division throughout the nation.

Dropping Thomas' charges was the right move, and hopefully, the next step is closing the salon and stripping all of its employees of their cosmetology credentials. 

Employees at a salon in Brooklyn, New York City, attacked African-American customers and hit them with a broomstick after one of them refused to pay for the services.

The angry confrontation between the employees and customers took place at Happy Red Apple Nail salon. A video of the incident was recorded by a witness who later uploaded it to Facebook.

Christina Thomas, a 21-year-old woman and two other customers were getting their services done at the salon. The woman got her eyebrows waxed; however, she didn’t like the way they ended up looking. She reached out to the manager to register a complaint and refused to pay $5 for it.

That is when things escalated and took an unexpected turn.

The employees then surrounded Thomas and began hitting her. The video showed the Asian employees pulling the woman’s hair while others constantly beat her up. Seconds later, an employee repeatedly hit on her back with a broomstick. 

Thomas then managed to get out of the shop as the employee kept hitting her aggressively. The employees then turned towards the women who were standing beside a wall as male employees held them.

The women tried to talk to the employees but all efforts went in vain as the employees continued with their aggressive attacks.

An African-American man then turned up at the salon in an attempt to rescue the women but the employees threatened him and didn’t let him come inside. One of the women then gave up as the employees refused to leave her and instructed the other one to call the cops.

Police later arrived at the salon and arrested 32-year-old Huiyue Zheng, an employee at the salon, and charged her with felony and three misdemeanor charges of menacing, criminal possession of a weapon and harassment.

Thomas was also arrested and was charged with three misdemeanors.

Abby Moses, Thomas’s mother, said her daughter’s eyebrows were completely destroyed. She said she was not present at the salon when the brawl took place but her mother was with Thomas.

“She had practically all her eyebrow off. He said ‘I’ll fix it,’ she said ‘you can’t fix it.’ What I’m here to do right now is to get justice for my 58-year-old mother, my 21-year-old daughter, that had acetone thrown on them and got beat with sticks like they are in the 1960s,” said Moses.

The salon opened up after the incident to welcome new customers but protesters outside the shop forced them to shut it down. They now demand the salon be closed down permanently and chanted slogans including, “Shut them down!” and “No money! No toes! No nails!”

Banner/thumbnail credit: Reuters

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