Around 150 concerned residents picketed a Brooklyn nail salon yesterday after a now-viral video showed a violent fight between employees and customers. In the video, a salon employee is seen whacking two black female customers with a broomstick, while additional staff push and restrain other customers and appear to throw acetone at them. Now, enraged protesters are calling for the business to be shut down, the New York Times reports.
Footage of the dispute, which took place at Happy Red Apple Nails in East Flatbush, was posted to Facebook Friday night. As of this morning, the brutal video has received 750,000 views.
News12 reported that Christina Thomas, 21, went to the salon Friday night for a manicure, pedicure, and eyebrow wax. Thomas and salon staff agree that she wasn’t pleased with the eyebrow-waxing result; Thomas claims she refused to pay for the eyebrow wax, while the salon said she also didn’t want to pay for the pedicure. A surveillance video shows a customer and an employee quarreling before things get physical. Police arrested two women involved with the incident on Friday: Huiyue Zheng, 32, who was hospitalized after suffering injuries, and Thomas.
On Monday, protesters aimed to draw attention to the mistreatment of black people in their community and highlight racial tension between the black and Asian populations. Attendees chanted, “No More! No more!” and “Black dollars matter!”
Brooklyn native and reality-star Tionna Smalls rallied on social media after seeing the video, notifying her thousands of followers about the protest. “I’m expecting justice, but most of all I’m expecting black people to learn that when these business don’t respect you, you don’t spend your money with them,” she told ABC7.
Thomas’s mother Abby Moses also attended. “What I’m here to do right now is to get justice for my 58-year-old mother, my 21-year-old daughter, that had acetone thrown on them and got beat with sticks like they are in the 1960s,” Moses said.
Alexis Reignier, a 33-year-old health worker from Midwood, hopes to see more support for black-owned business in the area. “The black community has been pushed aside for generations, and it just seems as if the longer time goes on, the more people think we’re simply going to go away,” she told the Times. “If we go into an establishment to get something done, and then we end up being assaulted, something certainly needs to happen to that establishment.”
The nail salon’s manager declined to comment on the incident to the Times.