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Young Black woman attacked by White man fights back

By Janiah Adams -Contributing Writer- | Last updated: Jan 8, 2019 - 10:54:40 PM

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(l) Yasmine James, 20 (r) Daniel Taylor, 40
MIAMI—After footage of a young, Black woman being attacked by a White male customer in a St. Petersburg, Fla., McDonald’s went viral, the fast food chain is receiving backlash and action is being taken.

Daniel Taylor, 40, reportedly attacked Yasmine James, 20, because of the restaurant’s policy of only providing straws to customers upon request. The policy came as a result of the city’s new law that limits the use of plastic straws. The law came into effect Jan. 1.

Cell phone video shows Mr. Taylor shouting at Ms. James on New Year’s Eve before reaching across the counter to strike her. Ms. James, who told news outlets that she comes from a boxing family, can be seen defending herself against Mr. Taylor throwing several blows.

Ms. James has been placed on leave. Mr. Taylor was charged with two counts of simple battery—one count for assaulting Ms. Taylor and another for reportedly kicking another employee on his way out of the restaurant. He’s being held in Pinellas County Jail with a $1,000 bail, reported the Tampa Bay Times.

Still produced from a cell phone video shows Daniel Taylor grabbing Yasmine James.

Social media users voiced their frustration with the attack on Ms. James. “Anyone else upset that her Manager assisted this man after he assaulted her instead of escorting him out and calling the police? It’s 2019, the Customer is not “always right” anymore,” posted Twitter user Amber Nicole.

The Bay Area Dream Defenders posted a link to an article about the incident on their Facebook page. “Not only does McDonald’s refuse to pay its mostly Black, Brown, and poor white workers a living wage, they refuse to protect them from violence?! … It is unconscionable that McDonald’s cares so little about the safety of its workers,” the activist group posted.

“How will you handle this @ McDonalds? Will you fire the manager who did nothing and continued to engage racist customer Daniel Taylor? Have you reached out to the victim, Yasmine James? Your response will determine if I ever patronize your stores again. #JusticeForYasmineJames,” posted Twitter user Raquel Liggon Horn.

The staff at the McDonald’s location is unable to comment on the situation and directed inquries to the corporate office. The fast food chain released a statement saying, “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.”

Ms. James enlisted the help of Attorney Michele Rayner-Goolsby.

Atty. Rayner-Goolsby is also representing the family of Markeis McGlockton, a Black man who was fatally shot by a White man in the parking lot of a Clearwater, Fla. convenience store. She also represented the families of three St. Petersburg girls who drowned after driving a car into a pond during a police chase.

“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,” Ms. Rayner-Goolsby said in a statement. “I’m grateful that Ms. James has entrusted me with her case; she’s not alone in the fight anymore.” For Ms. James, this incident was “the last straw.”

“I am committed to using this horrible experience as means to fight for justice, not only for myself, but for other women experiencing this kind of violence in environments where they should be safe and protected,” she said in a statement.