Protesters are swarming nail salons in the wake of a racially charged brawl between employees and customers that broke out after an alleged botched eyebrow job.
Footage of the violent confrontation, posted on Facebook by a customer, shows an Asian employee hitting two black customers with a broomstick and fists at New Red Apple Nails in Brooklyn, New York.
Huiyue Zheng, an employee, was reportedly charged with assault and three misdemeanour charges, while customer Christina Thomas was arrested on misdemeanour assault and other charges.
Racially driven protests broke out on Monday, with predominantly black demonstrators holding signs reading "BLACK $$$ MATTER".
The goal is to shut down the salon and raise awareness about them mistreatment of black people in the community, specifically addressing the tension between the black and Asian communities.
While protesting outside the salon which was shuttered that afternoon, Abby Moses, Thomas’ mother, told The New York Times:
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.
Protesters targeted a second nail salon the same day, which they believe is connected to the shop where the fight took place.
Demonstrators chanted “shut them down,” “**k the police” and “no nails, no toes, these racist shops have got to go", according to the New York Post.
At least one protester also shouted “where is ICE [U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement]?”, seeming to imply that the salon's employees might be undocumented migrants.
Tionna Smalls told abc:
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.