African-American protesters gathered Sunday outside a Charlotte, North Carolina, beauty supply store to protest and call for a boycott after cell phone video showed the Asian owner kick and choke a Black customer, WBTV reports
Missha Beauty store owner Sung Ho Lim told the news outlet the incident happened Thursday. Lim confronted the customer because he believed she stole something.
WBTV said the woman is heard on the video denying the accusation, as they begin shoving each other. Lim says, “You hit me,” before he kicks the woman and puts her in a chokehold.
Lim filed a police report accusing the woman of strong armed robbery of eyelashes from the store. The store owner told WBTV that he plans to give the police his surveillance video. No arrests was immediately made, the outlet reported.
The protesters said Lim crossed a line when he fought the woman.
“When he was choking her, he was almost choking her to death. She was gasping for breath, and he was continually choking her,” Teresa Mosely, a regular customer who refuses to shop there anymore, told WBTV.
The store owner met with the protesters and offered an apology, adding that he plans on Monday to apologize to the woman he choked.
“I don’t know, it just happened. I went crazy,” Lim stated. “No matter what the reason, I feel very sorry to her and to them.”
Corine Mack, a protester, told the outlet that Lim should apologize to Charlotte’s Black community because “we are the ones who go to his store on a regular basis, and allow his family to live a good quality of life.”