A series of viral videos displays a White woman "charging at" Nigerian American Ijeoma Ukenta. The victim has thus crowdfunded $105,000 to hire an attorney.
Ijeoma Ukenta, a Nigerian American woman, was shopping at Victoria's Secret in The Mall in Short Hills in Millburn, New Jersey, when a White woman charged at her and had a breakdown. In a six-part series of videos posted to YouTube, Ukenta captured the entire incident, which can only be described as a racist encounter. Following the experience, Ukenta created a GoFundMe in order to crowdfund fees for a legal attorney. So far, she has raised just over $105,000. The White woman claimed that she has an anxiety disorder, which caused the meltdown. Additionally, Ukenta accused mall security and the police of mishandling the situation, INSIDER reports.
#AbigailElphick is crying and screaming “Get her away from me!” while CHASING #IjeomaUkenta. If the good sis had NOT been recoding this foolishness, what Abigail was doing could’ve gotten Ijeoma arrested or killed.— yvette nicole brown (@YNB) July 13, 2021
Shades of #AmyCooper “I feel threatened” while threatening. https://t.co/mZxVaGmR4s
While Ukenta did not capture the exchange that sparked the encounter, the six clips uploaded to YouTube display the series of events that followed. Reportedly, the two customers were shopping when the White woman began standing "uncomfortably close" to Ukenta. Therefore, she asked her to "back up." Instead of respecting her wishes, the White woman approached the employee at the cash register and falsely informed them that Ukenta had just threatened her. Ukenta thus began recording the scene, which led to the confrontation in the first video posted online.
In the clip, the White woman is seen lunging towards Ukenta before lying down in a fainting position on the store's floor near the cash registers. Then, begins to scream and sob, pleading with Ukenta not to record her "mental breakdown." In later videos, the White woman begins chasing Ukenta around the store, all while claiming that she had "threatened her." The woman then calls the police. Mall security guards and the police arrive, and the woman appears to leave the mall. According to what Ukenta said was the police report, "Victoria's Secret Karen" alleged she had experienced a panic attack when she realized she was being recorded. She added that she has an "anxiety disorder" and was nervous because she was scared of "losing her job and apartment."
okay, but like the audacity of that woman to tell Ms. Ukenta to stop recording and shoo, like she’s the victim here, she has a right to record and protect herself! #Karen #Karensgonewild #AbigailElphick #AbigalElphick #VictoriasSecret #victoriassecretkaren #SayNoToRacism pic.twitter.com/D54S61qtrp— 🍵 (@oopsispilledtea) July 15, 2021
The Nigerian American also accused the police of mishandling the situation. In her third video, Ukenta is seen speaking with a mall security guard who claims he has no idea about the woman she is referring to. He asks if everything is okay, to which Ukenta responds, "No, I feel in danger. No, everything's not okay. Ask them." She calls on the store manager to help her corroborate the events that unfolded. In following videos as well as through her GoFundMe campaign, the victim explained that she was mistreated. "I was treated like it was 1920 in Short Hills Mall. I was assaulted and harassed by a white woman and nothing was done by the security nor the police," her campaign description reads. "I'm looking to hire me an excellent attorney who can help me bring light to this wrong."
everyone should RT the video. #AbigailElphick didn't have a mental break down. this was 100% intentional.— Imani Gandy (@AngryBlackLady) July 13, 2021
Every time this happens, even when y'all KNOW the white woman is the aggressor, you nevertheless manage to still pity and feel sorry for her. this is what WW bank on. https://t.co/6V1YZZDtlY
Both Victoria's Secret as well as The Mall at Short Hills released official statements about the incident but did not add new details. The former claimed they had "initiated a full investigation" into the incident, whereas the latter apologized to Ukenta for the experience she had. Ukenta is yet to post an update about the legal case but did recently thank her GoFundMe supporters. "Thank you all for the support," she writes. "The kind, uplifting, and supporting words have warmed my heart and lifted up my spirit in this time of need." If you would like to make a donation towards her campaign, you can do so here.
But, it wasn’t an altercation BETWEEN customers, @VictoriasSecret.— yvette nicole brown (@YNB) July 15, 2021
One customer #AbigailElphick ATTACKED and stalked another customer #IjeomaUkenta.
Miss Ukenta recorded the actions of Abby in your store. What happened is clear. There are no #BothSides.
Fix your statement. https://t.co/W6huU46HgS