Emotions ran high at Dallas City Hall on Monday over the video of a woman who was assaulted in Deep Ellum as the victim herself spoke publicly about the attack.
The former bartender who repeatedly punched the 24-year-old victim was charged with misdemeanors. Community activists are now demanding felony charges.
L'daijohnique Lee talked about her injuries on Monday in an interview with local media. She became emotional answering questions about the night of the beating. Lee said she is still suffering from emotional trauma from what happened early last Thursday morning.
“I'm still feeling pain, I had a concussion to my head, swelling to my left jaw, my ear was busted, I had a black eye, it went away already, my body still hurts, everything still hurts,” Lee said.
She told police she was driving the wrong way on elm street and then pulled into a parking lot where she blocked the way out for a man and his pickup. As the two argued he pulled out what looked like a handgun. He then slapped her phone out of her hand. She hit him, and then he punched her in the face five times.
Austin Shuffield, 30, was arrested and charged with: assault causing bodily injury, interfering with emergency personnel and public intoxication.
All of the charges are misdemeanors, for which he is now out on bond.
A group of community activists also took their complaint about the charges to city hall.
Councilman Adam McGough said the video sickened him and Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings said he was horrified.
The Dallas City Council public safety committee listened to public comment from the activists after their meeting adjourned.
“Austin Shefield walked out with a misdemeanor, that said to the black community and black women that their lives don't matter. A misdemeanor -- that was a deadly weapon,” said Dominque Alexander, Next Generation Action Network.
One woman became emotional when speaking to city council members. In an unusual moment at city hall, councilman McGough, the chair of the public safety committee, came around to the public seating in order to comfort her.
Dallas police say the assault is still an open investigation. Dallas County District Attorney John Cruezot said he asked the police department for more information.
More serious charges could be filed if, as it appears in the video, Shuffield brandished a gun. His charges are also contingent on the extent of lee's injuries.