Tension between Black customers and Korean nail shop owners reached a boiling point in a 2018 incident that returned to the courts this weekend.
A Brooklyn judge dropped misdemeanor assault charges against Huiyue Zheng and Ni Len, who repeatedly struck their customer Christina Thomas in the head with broom sticks. Surveillance footage shows Heng and Len weaponizing the daily household item, escalating the fight to a brawl.
Zheng and Len claimed the were defending themselves against Thomas, who allegedly started the fight over a payment discrepancy.
According to the Daily News, Justice John Hecht ruled there was not sufficient evidence to sustain the allegations. We’re guessing the violent clip that captured social media’s attention in the first place wasn’t enough.
Zheng and Len may have avoided charges for their behavior, but their shop, Happy Red Apple Nails in Brooklyn, was shut down after the incident sparked protest.
Lawyers for Zheng and Len argued that the fight wasn’t due to racial tensions. “The community took this up as a cause and shut those people down. There was no basis for that. It was not right. They made this into a racist issue, including the local politicians,” he said. “They were driven out of business. There was a wrong here.”
Thomas’ lawyer didn’t return comment, but her grandmother shared her views about the altercation.
“Those people beat me and my grandbaby like animals for no reason,” Medley said in a statement “Everything they did to us was caught on video, and they still got off. This whole case showed us that the court doesn’t give a damn about black women.”
Misdemeanor charges against Thomas were also dropped shortly after the incident took place.
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