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Update: McDonald's Employee Who Was Attacked Had to Call the Police Herself

Yasmine James boxed her way to safety. She hired an attorney after McDonald's placed her on leave.

Screenshot from ABC Tampa Bay

Rumors circulated about Yasmine James' firing after she defended herself against Daniel Willis Taylor at the St. Petersburg McDonald's on New Year's Eve, and people on social media were enraged, and talking boycotts.


McDonald's, who is responsible for the inaction by management that night, instead placed her on paid leave, and James hired a Clearwater attorney who also represented the McGlockton family in the Florida stand your ground shooting case.

"I don't think people took it so seriously," James, who is 20 years old, told The Grio.

"Just because I am a Black woman and he was a white man that assaulted me. Like, 'Okay, she fought this man, let's go back to work. Don't call the police because this is normal.' It was just going to go under the rug."

She not only had to defend herself, but had to call the police herself, too.

James continued, "I didn't like that feeling. To me, it's like if I didn't call the police, if I didn't do anything, who would have? I just felt like I was left alone, on my own."

Her attorney, Michele Rayner-Goolsby released a statement, which said, in part: "This case is a clear example of how white privilege and male privilege too often leave Black women alone to defend themselves in the face of harm."

McDonald's reportedly invited her back to work, but she questions how the company would keep her safe at work. She also said she thought her coworkers, who didn't come to her defense were probably thinking about their jobs.

"I don't want to blame everything on my manager, but I wish that he was trained more; like [McDonald's] should have had better procedures," she said.

McDonald's released another statement on Thursday, in part, saying: "We share the community's concern, and are taking this disturbing incident very seriously...We firmly stand with our employees everywhere, including our employees at this restaurant who were involved in this incident."

"It's like scary, anybody can do something to me,' James said in an interview. "I work so close with the customers, and now that everyone knows and people don't agree with this they can do anything."

She added, "I am committed to using this horrible experience as means to fight for justice, not only for myself, but for other women experiencing this kind of violence in environments where they should be safe and protected... this type of violence happens to women, especially Black women, everyday."

Taylor is still being held on $1,000 bond with two charges of battery, but James doesn't think that is enough of a punishment.

"He assaulted me … He should've gotten more than a misdemeanor," she said. "To me that won't teach him a lesson at all."

Related Story: Update: McDonald's Attacker Allegedly Kicked a Second Woman in the Stomach

James, of course, taught Taylor a thing or two about violating the safety of a woman— she has been boxing since she was 14, thanks to her mother and older cousin, a professional boxer. The classes were her mother's way of helping her protect herself.

"It really scared me when he grabbed me," she said. "I didn't know if he had a knife, a gun or anything."

Reader Question: McDonald's marketing campaign is centered on Blacks. Do you think they will make an effort to adopt serious diversity strategies inside the company in light of this incident that happens to many of their patrons and employees in and outside of work?


McDonald's employee attacked by customer at work hires attorney after being placed on leave www.youtube.com

The Conversation (8)
Kathryn O'Brien04 Jan, 2019

This little gal showed what she was made of. Size didn't matter and what a shame that someone can literally grab a worker and only be fined $1000. It's laughable. McDonald's didn't do itself any favors either. Seems to me she is being abused by them. They should have really stepped up. And. They. Didn't. So, be careful out there. Not only will MCDONALD'S not pay you much, but they don't have your back either. I was astounded by her bravery and disgusted that nobody there had her back.

Evelyn Miller04 Jan, 2019

This whole thing is so disturbing on so many levels but kudos to this young woman who fought off her assailant and is now using this platform to illustrate the violence women (and women of color in particular) face everyday in the work environment. Shame on McDonald's for not supporting her from the onset and shame on the manager who did not step up and make a difference.

04 Jan, 2019

Black women are oftentimes accused of being “too masculine” or wanting to be men but the reality is that it’s not about wanting to be anything of the kind. It’s about finding out in both subtle and overt ways at a very young age that society in general nor our own AA boys or men value us enough to protect us. Black girls learn very fast that the greatest chance for self preservation is if we protect ourselves and since protection requires aggression and aggression is a male energy, unfortunately many of us have to tap into or feign male energy to do it - which is why some of us come off as masculine! This is what we saw in Yasmine James. The only reason Yasmine was able to land McFlurries on this guy is because her mother knew on a VISCERAL LEVEL THAT NO ONE WOULD PROTECT HER DAUGHTER and she had someone train her to react on her own behalf! The shame of it is that with all of those “men” around, she shouldn’t have HAD to. ~ Cay James (no relations!

Rene Woods05 Jan, 2019

McDonald’s Corp, should be ashamed of themselves to not have their EMPLOYEES back! She needs to take McDonald’s Corp to court for not protecting her while on the clock and trying to do her job! 👎🏾With McDonald’s

votetocorrect05 Jan, 2019

Fire the manager and promote her to manager!

Dawn10 Jan, 2019

It would really be nice to hear more men's thinking on this subject

Dawn10 Jan, 2019
Much praise to this young woman for not only defending herself, but for pursuing justice and using her platform for women, because woman are attacked and abused daily. I think McDonald's will do what most of these corporations do when there is bad press "We share the community's concern, and are taking this disturbing incident very seriously. We firmly stand with our employees…” and then do nothing but superficial damage control. It’s like reading from a cue card, and it is tiring.
LivG04 Jan, 2019

This makes me so sad.

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