The McDonald’s employee attacked by an irate customer has broken her silence and retained a lawyer. 

Daniel Taylor attacked Yasmine James on New Year’s Eve after he became enraged about a straw policy. A St. Petersburg, Florida, law bans restaurants from having straws placed in the open, according to ABC13. To get a straw, customers have to ask.

 In a now-viral video, the 20-year-old had to defend herself after Taylor grabbed her shirt collar and attempted to pull her across a counter.

James feels slighted by her co-workers who did not step in while she was being assaulted. Despite her disappointment, she wants to use her experience to advocate for Black women.

“I am not only physically hurt, but I am emotionally hurt that I was left to defend myself even as I was surrounded by my co-workers,” James said in a press release sent to Blavity.

“I am so grateful for the outpouring of support I have received from all around the country. I am aware this type of violence happens to women, especially Black women, every day," she continued in her statement. "For me, this was the last straw. I am committed to using the horrible experience as means to fight for justice, not only for myself but for women and stopping violence against women.”

James’ lawyer, Michele Rayner-Goolsby, believes this attack points to a disturbing trend.

“Around the country we have seen a pattern of violent attacks on women, especially Black women. It seems as if Black women are not safe performing daily tasks. This violence must end," the attorney said. 

Taylor was charged with two counts of simple battery for assaulting James and punching another employee as he left the scene. He faces a year in jail.

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