GoFundMe Donations Pour In For L’Daijohnique Lee After She Was Charged With A Felony Following Brutal Attack By White Man
Donations have poured in over five days to assist the woman.
A GoFundMe campaign created for a Black woman who was brutally beaten by a white man in Texas has continued to rake in funds following a felony charge against the victim.
As Blavity previously reported, Dallas police attempted to charge L’Daijohnique Lee, a victim of a violent assault, with a felony charge. District Attorney John Creuzot promptly stepped in and confirmed that the state would not prosecute the crimes, dropping them altogether.
Dallas Police Chief Renee Hall, a fellow Black woman, reportedly decided to charge Lee. Hall recently defended her impetus to charge Lee, stating, “When an incident is reported to the Dallas Police Department, it is our responsibility to investigate."
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"If we find through whether it is the admission of the act, witness statements or any other evidence that an incident resulted in a crime, we have the responsibility as a police department to file that charge," Hall continued. "And the District Attorney in this case and any other case has the ability to either accept that charge, reject it, try it and do what it is necessary from their perspective.”
Hall was also recently under fire for failing to terminate police officer Amber Guyger from the Dallas Police Department following the controversial killing of 26-year-old Botham Shem Jean last year.
“Because of federal, state, and local laws surrounding our force and the police officer," Hall claimed to be the reason for refusing to fire Guyger at the time. "Civil service laws; there are things we have to do as an agency that are required. I can’t just supersede policy just because people want me to.”
Lee’s attacker, Austin Shuffield, was allegedly caught on tape beating the woman unconscious following a traffic dispute. In a police report, Shuffield claimed Lee broke his truck's back windshield -- which led to the victim being charged with criminal mischief -- and told authorities that he violently assaulted the woman in self-defense.
Since then, nationwide support for Lee has mounted.
Lee's civil rights attorney, Lee Merritt, started the GoFundMe page in response to questions of how to provide support for the victim.
After just five days, the $15,000 goal is less than $1,000 shy of meeting its target. As of Thursday afternoon, over 500 people have donated $14,137.
The campaign page is full of encouraging messages directed toward Lee.
"We must support each other," one comment read. "We are no different from any other group of people when it comes down to the essential need for Unity. Much Love sis we hope this makes things a little easier for you."
"I donated because I care. She should NOT have been charged in the first place! Dallas Police are WRONG!" wrote another donor.
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"This woman is going through enough after her incident," expressed another. "It is unfair for her to struggle even more after what she's been through. Power to you and know you're not alone."
According to Merritt, Lee has taken a leave of absence from work as she recovers from her injuries and prepares to seek justice.
Merritt released more details about the case on the page, confirming that Lee felt the attack was racially motivated.
"According to the victim, she was approached by Shuffield, who was unknown to her at the time, and verbally accosted with racial slurs and other racist remarks after parking her car the wrong way on a one-way street," he shared. "When she asked Shuffield to back up his vehicle in order for her to move her car he refused. She then got into her car and drove on to the curb in order to clear the path and enter a parking lot. Shuffield, nevertheless, approached her vehicle a second time and continue to verbally berate and physically intimidate her."
"At some point during the altercation, Shuffield brandished a firearm and threatened the life of the victim," Merritt continued. "She, in turn, pulled out her phone [and] told Shuffield she was calling the police. Shuffield responded by launching a vicious assault against the woman, first slapping her phone from her hands and, when she attempted to push him away, launching a violent barrage of punches to her head causing significant injuries."
Lee, 24, was seen on video receiving constant blows to her head and body before falling unconscious. She reportedly suffered post-concussion syndrome and cranial swelling, among other injuries.
The city of Dallas has been protesting in support of Lee following the ordeal, which initially led to Shuffield's charges being upgraded from a misdemeanor to two felony charges, a second-degree felony aggravated assault (with a deadly weapon) and for unlawfully carrying a weapon.
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