Members of the Harlem community are coming together after a local resident was attacked outside of a liquor store in the neighborhood earlier this week.
A demonstration took place outside of the Adam Clayton Powell Jr. state office building on Saturday, according to a report from CBS, as the search continues for the men who attacked the 31-year-old woman.
“This is the liquor store where the young lady was assaulted. Harlem not with the bullshit,” one resident tweeting video of the event wrote, adding the hashtag #ProtectBlackWomen.
The crowd included nearly 100 neighbors who gathered to share their outrage over the brutal incident. The mother was picking up a bottle of wine on her way home when a man with his friends offered to pay for the bottle. After she declined, the group of men followed her outside of the store.
“Before I walk out he basically said that he felt like I thought I was better than them,” the woman told CBS. “I just asked him, I said, ‘you’re seriously trying to fight me? I’m trying to go about my business.’”
The men then attacked her and began kicking her. One man bit her forehead, leaving a deep wound in addition to the bruises covering her body. She said he was attempting to bite out her eye.
“To bite me, and do that – maul me the way that he did – with me screaming, and saying I’m just trying to get my daughter. That – that’s an animal. That’s not a person,” she said.
Since the attack, she’s been unable to open her injured eye. The perpetrators also took her cell phone. Organizers hope that the rally brings attention to the incident and motivates change. “The message is simple. #ProtectBlackWomen at all costs,” New York Senator Brian Benjamin tweeted.