Civil rights group wants apology after video shows store owner kicking customer

Updated: Sep. 10, 2020 at 7:26 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - A civil rights organization is demanding a public apology from a North Charleston store owner after he admitted kicking a customer.

The incident happened last Sunday at Star Beauty Supply on Centre Point Drive and was caught on cell phone video.

The cell phone video taken by another customer shows store owner James Park grabbing the female customer then pushing and apparently kicking her in the backside before she leaves the store.

Park says the confrontation began when the woman walked into the store without a mask over her face. Surveillance video from the store shows she was not wearing a mask.

Park says the woman continued to walk around the store without a mask. He says she was asked to leave, and she then put a mask on. Park says the woman then cursed him.

The store surveillance video shows her knocking Park’s phone out of his hand.

He says the woman went to the front of the store and it appeared to him that that she knocked down a display. Park feared she was attacking his wife.

That’s when Park says he grabbed her, kicked her and forced her out the front door.

“For him to disrespect her, if you kick a dog in the public you go to jail, and this is a human being,” Racial Justice Network founder Elder James Johnson said. “We’re not going to sit back and allow this anymore.”

“If she did knock something over, he should have called the cops, get her tag number or whatever. Not engage in violence,” said Lawanda Lewis of the Racial Justice Network.

The cell phone video shows Park following the woman to the parking lot where an apparent gunshot is heard before the woman drives off. Park told us at the time he was trying to get her car’s tag number.

North Charleston police believe she fired the shot and they want to talk to her. A spokesman says officers have not been able to find her.

Park put an apology on Facebook and said he overreacted and regretted his actions.

Elder Johnson wants him to apologize on TV and contribute money to the community for scholarships for Black students and to fight crime.

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