Protests erupted outside a beauty supply store in Tulsa, Okla. this week after the owner was caught on video punching a Black woman in the face.
Video of the incident, which surfaced Monday, shows Changseok Jun, owner of Ann & Jun’s Beauty Supply, punch customer April Harding in the face after her 3-year-old son pocketed a .99 cent key chain as they left the store Sunday, station News On 6 reported. The assault left Harding with a busted lip that required three stitches.
“We had words and then I attempted to walk away from him,” she recalled. “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.”
” … He didn’t have to do anything that he did,” she added. “Especially not hit me in my face.”
Tulsa Police Sgt. Shane Tuell said the incident unfolded after Harding’s son, unbeknownst to her, took an item from the store without paying. That’s when Jun followed Harding outside and confronted her, prompting the woman to toss the key chain back into the store before shoving Jun in his upper torso, he said. Jun then punched Harding on the side of her mouth with a closed fist.
Harding insisted nothing was ever taken from the store, saying, “We never got out of the store with anything.”
The attack comes nearly a week after a similar incident at a Brooklyn nail salon where workers brutally beat a Black woman with a broom stick after she refused to pay for a botched wax job.
According to Yahoo Lifestyle, Jun has since been charged with assault and battery and is scheduled to appear in court Sept. 12. A judge is expected to rule on what happens next.
Meanwhile, angry locals have launched an all-out boycott of Jun’s business in response to the viral video. A group of residents gathered outside the beauty supply on Monday urging folks to take their business elsewhere.
“For [Jun] to hit her is unacceptable,” Cleo Harris, an organizer of the protest, told the Tulsa World outside the store, which was closed for much of Monday. “You’re taking the Black dollar, but you don’t trust us coming in to buy your product that is a creation of us.”
Resident Kristi Williams told News on that she wanted to see the store shut down.
“They don’t deserve one penny from us,” Williams said.
On Twitter, people debated about who was in the wrong and if the attack was racially-motivated.
“No, she did not hit him first,” activist Shaun King wrote. “[Jun] stalked her out of the store, berated her non stop, and as she walked away and put her hand up to get him away, he punched her from behind with a closed first. He bloodied her mouth.”
” … I do think the response was disproportionate and done in retaliation, not to protect himself,” a woman chimed in. “Again, I wonder if he would have made the same choice if she was a white woman.”
Watch more in the video below.