The online crowdfunding campaign for L’Daijohnique Lee was well on its way to reaching its goal just one day after police charged the Black woman with a felony stemming from an argument last month with a white racist man who knocked her unconscious.
The GoFundMe account, which was seeking $12,500, was expected to exceed its goal and then some less than a week after it was started by Lee’s lawyer and civil rights attorney S. Lee Merritt.
“Many people have asked how to support the victim of the brutal assault by a white supremacist in the Deep Ellum community of Dallas TX,” Merritt wrote on the GoFundMe page he launched Friday. “She has been out of work as she recovers from her injuries and pursues justice. The bills are starting to pile up. It’s time for us to be put our money where our mouth is.”
As we reported, authorities charged Lee with criminal mischief on Tuesday in her confrontation with bartender Austin Shuffield on March 21. She stands accused of damaging her attacker’s pickup truck after the violent attack.
Shuffield reportedly called her a “stupid nigger” during the argument and pulled out a gun before punching her with uppercuts to the head and body, the latter of which was captured on graphic video.
He was released on $2,000 bond the same day he was locked up for attacking the 24-year-old woman. Shuffield was initially charged with misdemeanor assault. After angry public protests about the slap on the wrist, the police upgraded the charges to aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, a second-degree felony, and unlawfully carrying a weapon.
The viral video of the attack appears to show Shuffield holding a gun in one hand as he slaps away Lee’s cellphone. She was reportedly attempting to call 911. Lee responded to Shuffield’s aggression by shoving him away, but he retaliated by punching her multiple times.
Here’s a video clip that contains graphic content.
After the video went viral, dozens of protesters took to the streets to call for felony hate crime charges against Shuffield. News of felony charges against Lee was expected to spark new protests in Dallas.
“Eventually #AustinShuffield himself will have to pay for what he did both criminally and civilly. In the meantime Dai is incurring cost from hotels stays (as he was rereleased), firearms purchase and time off of work recovering. As the first of the month approaches and bills are due your support has meant everything!” the civil rights attorney said.