People Are Protesting This Nail Salon After an Employee Hit Customers With a Broomstick

New Yorkers are camped out outside of New Red Apple Nail Salon in East Flatbush in Brooklyn after video of a fight between employees and clients went viral.

According to the New York Post, a fight broke out in the salon on August 3 after a customer named Christina Thomas complained about her eyebrow waxing. According to the Post, Thomas was visiting the salon with two family members, and after she informed them that she did not want to pay after the unsatisfactory service, the employees turned violent toward them. Washington Post reports that the employees hit them with broomsticks and threw acetone at them. Mercy Maduka, who was a customer in the salon at the time of the incident, captured the whole thing on video and posted it on Facebook.

"So I’m at the nail salon and they f*cked up a lady eyebrow and she refused to pay then a fight broke outttt," Mercy captioned the post. She went on to say that the salon employees were "hitting [the customers] like animals."

"She said she didn't like it and doesn't want to pay for nothing," salon manager Michael Lin told NBC New York. "I said 'sit down, let me call the police. If the police say you can go, you pay nothing. [If the] police say you pay for the pedicure, then you pay for the pedicure. No eyebrow, no problem.'"

News 12 reports that salon employee Huiyue Zheng was charged with assault and weapon possession, and the customer, Thomas, was booked on misdemeanor assault and other charges. Both were released on their own recognizance.

Maduka’s video has since gone viral, racking up more than 800,000 views at publishing time. As a result, people are calling for the salon to shut its doors permanently. Some protesters have gone to the salon's Facebook page to leave negative reviews in a move designed to bring their recommendation rating down, as reported by Yahoo Lifestyle. Others, like Brooklyn resident Jasmine Johnson, have decided to physically stake out the business. Since the incident, Johnson has been very vocal about her mission to shut the nail salon down, posting videos from outside the business on Twitter and Facebook.

"We, as black people, need to be out here shutting this business down,"Johnson says in the video. "If [the police is] not going to arrest [the employees] for what they're doing to our grandmothers, then we need to be out and make sure that we financially castrate them and make sure that they cannot continue in our community." She continued, "They need to be shut down. Not just today — forever, into infinity."

Other clips show Johnson surrounded by people carrying signs, chanting "Black dollars matter!" The incident has sparked a conversation on Twitter about supporting black-owned businesses, with people asking for links to black-owned nail salons.

"It’s time for queens to start opening your own chain of nail shops," one user tweeted in response. "Black women have innovated many of the styles y’all getting from these people. They are jocking your innovations and taking your money. No more." Other people tweeted links for directories to help find black nail techs, in addition to using the hashtag #BlackDollarsMatter on social media to discuss and keep track of black-owned businesses. According to Johnson, there is currently a petition to get New Red Apple Nail Salon shut down permanently that people can physically sign at the protest site.

We have reached out to the New Red Apple Nail Salon and will update this story as more information becomes available.

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