When Dallas police issued an arrest warrant accusing L’Daijohnique Lee of felony criminal mischief, it caused widespread outrage in the Deep Ellum, Texas, community given that Lee was the victim of a horrific assault that occurred last month that ended in her being hospitalized.
Now, a day after the warrant was issued, the Dallas County district attorney’s office refused to prosecute her, drawing praise from the 24-year-old’s attorney, Lee Merrit, who slammed the police department for their actions, according to the Dallas Morning News.
“The DA did what was right, what they were supposed to do in this situation,” Merritt said. “But it’s an embarrassment that these charges were brought forward.”
“I’ve been mad, frustrated, irritated,” Lee told NBCDFW. “I
According to the report, Lee was charged after she apparently admitted to police that she smashed Austin Shuffield’s pickup window after he brutally punched her multiple times following a dispute over parking that occurred on March 21.
The Dallas Police Department insisted in a statement that it was the DA’s decision whether to prosecute cases sent to its office, while the police department’s job is to determine if there was a crime committed.
“The decision to file charges against L’Daijohnique Lee was based on her admission, evidence at the scene and statements obtained from witnesses,” police said, defending its decision.
However, District Attorney John Creuzot’s office voiced its surprise on Tuesday, when it realized a warrant for Lee’s arrest had been issued.
In the end, they opted not to pursue the charges against Lee.
As for Shuffield, 30, he currently faces four misdemeanor charges for his brutal attack on Lee – another point of contention for protesters – however, the Dallas police recently referred a felony charge of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon to a grand jury.
Shuffield is also facing
In the footage, Shuffield is seen slapping Lee’s cellphone from her hand as she apparently tried to call police and kick it away from her.
Lee retaliated, striking Shuffield once. At that point, Shuffield is seen taking a step back and winding up his fists before savagely punching the young woman at least five times.
Shuffield’s attorney is now claiming that the public does not know the whole story, accusing media coverage of being “one-sided.”
“We’re going to present our side quietly,” attorney JR Cook said, “the way it’s supposed to be done.”
Shuffield told an officer that he lashed out in self-defense after Lee hit him.
As news of the cruel attack spread, Shuffield lost his bartending job at a shop not far from where the attack occurred.