Screenshot from ABC Tampa Bay

Black Man to Press Charges Against White Woman Who Attacked His Family and Friends

Essex Cook and his family were among a diverse group of friends spending the day in Berkeley, Calif., when a white woman approached Cook and told him he didn’t belong there. She then assaulted his cousin and ripped off the shirt of another woman in the group.


When police offered Cook the opportunity to press charges against Lauren Milewski at the time of the incident in May, he declined. But he’s since changed his mind.

“Yeah, I am coming forward to press charges and tell my story,” Cook
told KRON4 on Monday.

“A lot of people was like, ‘what did you guys do’ I mean, I defended my family the best I could without harming somebody.”

On Memorial Day Weekend, Milewski approached Cook who was with his 2-year-old son, his girlfriend — who was five months pregnant at the time — family and some friends walking through the city.

“You don’t belong here,” Milewski told Cook as she approached him on the sidewalk.

“Get out of Berkeley. Get out of here. You don’t belong anywhere,” she said over and over, according to
Berkeleyside.

After following the group, she then attacked his cousin, Elexia Cook, grabbing her braids and dress. Eventually the two fell in the bushes as Milewski hit her. Essex Cook had to grab the woman and put her into a “pinky hold” to get her to release his cousin.

The Cooks repeatedly told Milewski to leave them alone.


Lauren Milewski

“But she ran up to another member of the group — a mother who was there with her own young child — ripping off the woman’s shirt and breastfeeding bra, leaving her breasts exposed and scratches on her chest,” the newspaper reports.

Cook said he just wanted to diffuse the situation because he had anxiety about the police being called. Milewski also began to shout a lie that she was being attacked.

“I saw the police rolling up,” Cook told KRON4. “My heart dropped at that point just being an African-American male, and she is yelling, ‘They are a mob of people who attacked me.'”


Essex Cook with family and friends

The police eventually arrested Milewski for public intoxication, resisting arrest and a probation violation.

Now that several weeks have passed since the incident, Cook is going forward with pressing charges, and he wants to add more charges to prevent Milewski from orchestrating another racially-motivated incident.

He said that “just trying to be a Black person trying to live your life” makes some people uncomfortable and makes them “act in a certain manner that shows who they are.”

Below is a video, which captures part of the incident. Cook can be seen trying to keep space between Milewski and his pregnant girlfriend.

Latest News

Kaiser

Kaiser Permanente Pledges $25,000 To Support Vaccine Access in Native Hawaiian Communities

Originally published at about.kaiserpermanente.org. Kaiser Permanente is a DiversityInc Hall of Fame company.   Kaiser Permanente of Hawaii has announced a $25,000 grant to Kula No Na Po‘e Hawai‘i (KULA), a Native Hawaiian beneficiary serving organization that exists to promote cultural, educational, environmental, and health equity for all. With this…

Kaiser Permanente Awards $115,000 in Grants To Support Essential Health Services for Community Organizations in Hawaii Affected by COVID-19

Originally published at about.kaiserpermanente.org. Kaiser Permanente is a DiversityInc Hall of Fame company.   Kaiser Permanente of Hawaii has awarded grants, totaling $115,000, to support two vital community organizations affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The grants will bolster the resiliency of Lanakila Pacific and the American Red Cross of Hawaii,…

Boeing Company Expands Sustainability Alliance With Etihad Airways To Drive Innovation in the Aviation Industry

Originally published at boeing.mediaroom.com. Boeing Company ranked No. 17 on The DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity list in 2021.   On Nov. 15, Boeing and Etihad Airways announced they will expand the companies’ deep collaboration towards environmental goals. Centered on the airline’s 787 Dreamliner fleet, the new memorandum of understanding…

KPMG on Celebrating Its Military Veteran Workforce

Originally published at info.kpmg.us. KPMG ranked No. 16 on The DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity list in 2021.   As we commemorate Veterans Day and honor all who served in the United States Armed Forces, we spotlight Air Force veteran Heather Paquette and Marine Corps veteran Joe Bergeron, two KPMG professionals who are members…