A viral video showing a white man assaulting a Black female employee at a McDonald’s in Florida has left several viewers outraged — not only at the man who attacked the woman over a piece of straw, but more so at the manager who did nothing to defend his co-worker!
Daniel Willis Taylor, a 40-year old man from Clearwater, Florida, was at a McDonald’s in St. Petersburg on New Year’s Eve when he reportedly reached over the counter and grabbed employee Yasmine James by the shirt. He has since been arrested.
The incident was witnessed by several people and was captured on a video. According to witnesses, Taylor angrily came up to the counter demanding a straw using obscene language. But when Yasmine put the straw on his tray, he demanded another one and then grabbed her across the counter, which can be seen on the video captured by another customer.
In the video, Yasmine can be seen defending herself by throwing several punches to the man’s face and body after he was the one who attacked her first while she was doing her job.
The video has once again sparked the issue of disparity in race and gender.
“I am sick of seeing footage of men assault women (often Black women) and no one does anything about it. This conditioning contributes to the narrative that we are undeserving of protection and mark my words: it’s reaching a peak and turning into an invitation for our abuse,” someone wrote on Twitter in connection to the video.
“Im tired of seeing black women being abused and disrespected left to fend for ourselves,” Twitter user Hennessy Haskin said. “I hope she leaves that job and everyone there far behind if she can.”
Police said that Taylor kicked another employee in the stomach while he was being escorted out of the restaurant. Taylor, who appeared to be homeless and had just celebrated his 40th birthday on December 30, was arrested and charged with two misdemeanor counts of simple battery and is being held on a $1,000 bond.
Meanwhile, angered viewers of the video were demanding for the termination of the manager who did not only refused to help his co-worker but also for appearing to allow Taylor to continue his order. The video shows the manager seemed to ignore the situation as Taylor said, “I want her ass fired right now.”
Another Twitter user commented about the video, “This man needs to be locked up now, and then he has the nerve to call for her to be fired. #privilege and police should have been immediately called. The @McDonald’s managers continued to take his order and accommodate him despite him assaulting a WOMAN.”
“When will you be assisting your employee in pressing charges against this man and also training your staff on how to properly handle an assault on a woman and one of your employees. We need answers NOW,” Rochelle Ritchie tweeted.
The St. Petersburg branch of NAACP released a statement and expressed their disappointment about what happened. They acknowledged that the police pressed “appropriate charges” but said the manager and other employees “demonstrated a blatant disregard for Ms. Jones’, an African American female’s safety” and that it will “conduct a further review of the matter.”
James, who is currently placed on leave, is looking to take legal action as she hired Attorney Michele Rayner-Goolsby.
“This case is a clear example of how white privilege and male privilege too often leave Black women alone to defend themselves in the face of harm. I’m grateful that Ms. James has entrusted me with her case; she’s not alone in the fight anymore,” Rayner-Goolsby said in a statement.
James released her own statement as well saying, “I am not only physically hurt, but I am emotionally hurt that I was left to defend myself even as I was surrounded by my co-workers and other bystanders. I am so grateful for the outpouring of support I have received from all around the country. I am aware this type of violence happens to women, especially Black women, everyday.”
McDonald’s also issued a statement regarding the incident: “Our highest priority is always the safety and well-being of our employees and customers at our restaurants. We have been in contact with the police department and are fully cooperating with their investigation.”