A decorated Black female veteran of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan has been charged with second-degree assault after a road rage incident where she ended up stabbing the other woman in the leg.
Kai Waters, 33, says that she was chased by an unknown white female driver who tailgated her for eight miles as she drove away from her place of employment at Fort Knox. Waters said the other drive bumped her car from behind, pulled up next to her at a light and called her a “Black b—-” and said she didn’t like “your kind.”
According to Waters, she drove to the nearest gas station and dialed 911 but the other driver pulled in behind her and attacked her while Waters spoke to the police call-taker. When the second woman came to attack, Waters said she reached for a ceremonial knife she had received from her troops at her previous post as a drill sergeant at Fort Drum.
A surveillance video shows Waters getting out of her car and fending off repeated shoves and kicks from the other woman.
Then, the police arrived. However, the officers immediately handcuffed the sergeant, wouldn’t listen to her story, didn’t review the surveillance tape or her 911 call, wouldn’t allow her to see a lawyer, then tossed her in the county jail on a Friday night, where she couldn’t appear before a judge until Monday. Photos also show gray paint on Waters’ rear bumper, backing up her story that the other driver was hitting her.
Waters will testify before a Hardin County grand jury on Thursday, hoping the case will be dismissed. She could still face Army discipline. But Waters said her life is already ruined. She has lost her position as a chemical, biological and radiological nuclear specialist.
Waters launched a GoFundMe page to try to raise $10,000 and has already raised $15,000 for legal fees and other costs. She posted the surveillance video of the gas station incident on her Facebook page. Her recounting of the incident has been seen more than 340,000 times.
Waters’s senior officer at Fort Knox, Lt. Col. Alicia Masson, is supporting Waters.
Masson said in a statement that Waters is “a trusted leader and this turn of events is in total contradiction to her performance and character. I understand the police department has a job to do, but now that the truth is seen by video that our soldier was attacked, I hope there will be swift correction to this situation and her rights returned. I stand behind her and am anxious for justice.”