A Malibu woman is facing charges of assault with a deadly weapon and civil rights violations after prosecutors say she hurled racial epithets and attacked a Black female security guard at a West Hollywood supermarket.
Kashmire Duran is accused of screaming racial slurs at security guard Natosha Lawson, biting her and striking her with a glass bottle in the Pavilions supermarket parking lot Monday. Lawson had stepped in to break up an argument between Duran and her father when investigators say she attacked the guard. Duran is identified as white in her booking record with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
Lawson says she was bitten by the woman and left with bloodied fingers.
Customers who witnessed the scuffle prevented Duran and her father from leaving in their car until deputies could arrive.
In a video recorded by a bystander that includes repeated profanities and racial slurs, Duran is seen in the passenger seat of the car. After yelling repeatedly from inside the vehicle at guards and customers who blocked their exit, Duran rolls down the window, tosses something and yells, “Here’s some dog food, —” at two Black security guards, using the N-word.
Duran is charged with one felony count each of assault with a deadly weapon and assault by means of force likely to produce great bodily injury, as well as one misdemeanor charge of violation of civil rights. If convicted as charged, she could face up to six years in prison.
Lawson told KTLA-TV Channel 5 that during Monday’s attack, Duran tossed a glass bottle at her and then yelled, “Get the — out of here,” adding a racial slur. When the security guard asked Duran’s father to take his daughter home so she didn’t hit anyone, Lawson said the woman exited the car and asked whether she was threatening her, again directing a racial slur at the Black guard.
At that point, according to Lawson, the assault escalated. Duran stuck a phone in the guard’s face and when Lawson tried to slap her hand away, a fight ensued.
“Then she catches my finger in her mouth and proceeds to chomp down on my finger,” Lawson said.
The two were separated by people who saw the altercation in the parking lot who then later kept Duran and her father from leaving in their vehicle.
Carlos Sapene, who recorded some of the incident, told KTLA that he heard the verbal exchanges.
“You could see the face of the security guard, that dehumanizing feeling,” Sapene said. “She grabbed dog food and started throwing it at the security guard. How do you as a human do that to another human being is beyond me.”
Sapene, who also witnessed the aftermath, has created a GoFundMe account for Lawson.
“There is no reason in this world to use that language to demean a fellow human being. The color of our skin is just a feature, as is your height, hair color, etc. It is nothing more than melanin,” he posted online. “We need to stop the hate. I have heard and seen these on the internet before, but to experience this in person is so much worse.”
Lawson, a licensed security guard of four years, was treated at a hospital for her injuries.
“I didn’t get up yesterday to be attacked by a crazy person, a crazy racist person at that,” she said in the aftermath. “It really hurts me. It really makes me angry. I’m still trying to put it together.