By LE. “Lilly” Brown
It is with grave disappointment that as we approach the year 2022, we are still struggling with outright discrimination as well as violence towards African Americans and Africans. However, we express outright gratitude and jubilation for community comrades in Dallas-Fort Worth like Attorney Malik Zulu Shabazz, Esq., who stand firm against the ills of the daily discrimination and blatant racism that is inflicted upon our people.
According to Attorney Shabazz, Esq., Founder and Attorney of Black Lawyers For Justice (BLFJ), the latest display of this racism and discrimination happened on or about October 16, 2021 when, “a terrible and violent incident occurred at the McDonald’s located at 3300 Hulen Street in Ft. Worth, Texas.”
LaShae McVey, a 34-year-old African American was assaulted by manager, Bryan Joel Blanton, who is White. According to witnesses, Blanton, who is a McDonald’s manager and the son of the owner, pulled-out a loaded handgun and threatened to kill unarmed LaShae McVey, a McDonald’s drive-thru customer. With his three children. Mr. McVey was unarmed and did not commit any action to warrant being assaulted by Blanton.
After many delays, the Ft. Worth police have finally interviewed and taken a formal statement from Mr. McVey, and say they are now investigating this crime.
“My children are traumatized and hurt over this situation. They are scared and uneasy whenever we visit McDonald’s now. One of my children always ducks down in the back- seat asking if someone is going to try to shoot me like at the [Fort Worth] McDonalds.” said McVey, who describes himself as a hard-working man who works in construction as a carpenter.
He says his main goal in life is to provide for his family.
“I don’t believe that this situation should have happened to me be- cause I requested a refund over an improper order. I should have sim- ply been able to get my money back that I worked hard for, so I could get my children meals; that is all I wanted to do the day of the incident.”
According to Attorney Shabazz, the regional McDonald’s office claims the owner and manager are not cooperating with attempts to correspond regarding the incident. However, this information is not sufficient enough to pacify the harm that has been committed, and Attorney Shabazz is seeking further reconciliation and compensation for the victim and his family.
During a recent press conference, Attorney Shabazz said, “If the manager is not fired and plans are not made to arrange compensation for Mr. McVey’s pain and suffering, we will be filing a formal lawsuit against all parties involved within 90 days.”
Attorney Shabazz and McVey also denounced what they call, “unfair and biased treatment” by the Fort Worth police officers at the initial scene. They do not feel that the perpetrator and manager, Blanton, was reprimanded properly.
In fact, they believe that. Blanton was treated as the victim in the situation and McVey was treated as the problem in the situation, which goes against their account of the actions that led to the police being called to the scene in the first place. It was McVey who called the police when Blanton came outside the McDonald’s, pulled out a pistol, and pointed it at him.
During the press conference, local community organizers raised concerns about the incident and how it would affect children in the area. Some said that teenagers from a local high school across from the McDonald’s reported previous incidents of feeling racially profiled and disrespected by the owner and manager involved in Mr. McVey’s incident.
Activists believe that there is a danger in letting this incident pass without resolution. And Black Lawyers for Justice attorneys will announce plans for obtaining video tapes of the incident and filing legal actions against McDonald’s and Blanton personally.