In South Carolina, an accusation of stealing has led to an assault charge for a White Aiken woman. Last week the woman is said to have put her hands on an 11-year-old Black girl after she claimed she took her mail. Lawyers for the young girl say that the alleged assault was racially motivated.

According to The Augusta Chronicle, on May 11 Skhylur Davis was retrieving her grandmother’s mail when Elizabeth Shirey confronted her for stealing mail from her mailbox. The confrontation led to Shirey grabbing Davis and demanding that the young girl give her her mail back.

“Mrs. Shirey happens to see this young child by her mailbox and proceeds to come out of her home, yell at this 11-year-old girl,” Davis’s attorney, Justin Bamberg, said during a Zoom news conference. From there, he says the 38-year-old woman runs aggressively at her “accusing her of committing a felony.” And then, once Shirey realizes that Davis’s grandmother’s name is on the mail, she asks the young girl if she would like cookies. 

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Davis and her attorney believe the confrontation was racially motivated because of what was said to her by Shirey’s husband. At the press conference, Davis said that Justin Shirey rudely confronted her and her friend and told the young girls that had they been a different “type” it would have been a different story.

Bamberg said they are taking their story public because they want to bring awareness to the prejudice that still resides in America. “We shouldn’t have to sit here and have this discussion in 2020, in South Carolina, on the heels of Ahmaud Arbery down in Brunswick, Georgia, a situation which the world is very much familiar,” Bamberg said. “Right here in Aiken, South Carolina, we have another victim and this time, the charge is assault and battery. The victim unfortunately is an 11-year-old girl.”

Shirey was charged with assault and battery in the third degree. Bamberg told The Chronicle that he will let the criminal justice system do its job in prosecuting the attacker, but is prepared to do everything in his powers to ensure justice. In a Facebook post, he also questioned, “What is going on in society when an 11-year-old child cannot get mail for her grandmother without risk of judgment, assault or death? We all owe it to our children and the generations to come to do better, be better, and create a better tomorrow than the today we live through.”