Charges Dropped Against Black Woman Beaten By White Dallas Bartender In Parking Lot
The Dallas County district attorney's office announced it will not prosecute felony charges against the Black woman who was beaten by a white bartender in a parking lot last month.
Yesterday, the Dallas Police Department issued a warrant for the arrest of 24-year-old L'Daijohnique Lee on charges of criminal mischief. After former bartender Austin Shuffield physically attacked Lee, she broke his back windshield with a jump box, police told CBS11.
According to Deputy Chief Thomas Castro, Lee admitted to breaking Shuffield’s windshield. Following protests at City Hall, the district attorney's office spokesperson, Kim Leach, said Lee’s criminal mischief warrant was recalled.
Lee Merritt, Lee's attorney, said that while he was pleased to hear the charges were dropped, he was "ashamed of the Dallas Police Department," reported the Dallas Morning News.
"The DA did what was right, what they were supposed to do in this situation," Merritt told the local news outlet. "But it's an embarrassment that these charges were brought forward."
In a statement released Wednesday, the Dallas Police Department said they did their job in determining if Lee had violated the law and the decision to prosecute rests on the district attorney.
"The decision to file charges against L'Daijohnique Lee was based on her admission, evidence at the scene and statements obtained from witnesses," police said in the statement.
Meanwhile, Shuffield's attorney, JR Cook, insists the public still does not know the entire truth about the incident. Cook also blamed the media for providing "one-sided” coverage in the case.
Cook says the arrest warrant issued against Lee is proof there is more to the story, yet he has not given more details. He went on to say he would tell Shuffield's side of the story during the trial.
"We're going to present our side quietly, the way it's supposed to be done,” Cook told reporters.
Shuffield’s arrest affidavit states he told an officer he acted in self-defense after Lee hit him.
A felony charge is still pending against Austin Shuffield, who was captured on cellphone video repeatedly punching Lee on March 21. Lee was hospitalized after the attack.
Shuffield, 30, faces four misdemeanor charges in the attack, while a charge of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon has been referred to the Dallas County grand jury.