After a minor altercation unfolded inside of a Plano, TX nightclub, Navy veteran, Jalen Bell, and his friend were assaulted by what the media are calling “racist guards.” Bell and his friends were enjoying a night at XTC Cabaret in the Stemmons Corridor of Plano as part of their Cinco de Mayo celebrations.
At one point during the night, Bell accidentally placed his drink down in a reserved area. In response to his minor mistake, a patron in the area allegedly put his cigarette out in the veteran’s drink, causing a small verbal altercation between them. When asked to leave the club after the incident, Bell and his friend, who came in from out of town, were accosted by several white security guards.
Jalen Bell. Remember that name, because it's about to become famous.
— Stephen Ruderman (@SRUnfiltered) May 9, 2018
Bell’s attorney, Lee Merritt, spoke on behalf of the veteran, describing the incident that landed his client in the hospital with a fractured rib and injuries to his eye. “There was nothing that took place within this establishment that would have justified physical contact,” Merritt said in a statement.
Bell posted his account of the assault on his Facebook page, describing how the “security guards [were] waiting” for him and his friend at the club’s exit. “They called me [N-word] as they punched, stomped, and grabbed my throat with such force I felt my trachea beginning to snap,” he wrote, following up later in the post with, “Without any provocation at all they beat us both like animals. After they were done they just kicked us out and went on with business as usual.”
This is America. pic.twitter.com/PblyFKAyYs
— Shaun King (@ShaunKing) May 8, 2018
While the security guards have remained quiet, XTC Cabaret released a statement claiming: “Our initial understanding is that this incident involved what was deemed to be an unruly customer. We are continuing to investigate the incident internally and ask the community to be patient until that is concluded.”
At a press conference where he stood next to his lawyer and wife, Logan, Bell issued a warning to the rest of the nation’s black population. “People think it can’t happen to them, and it can happen to you. And it’s a horrible feeling.”
I am utterly disgusted that this happened. We need justice for Jalen Bell, and we need it yesterday. https://t.co/wEmV5mHPtO
— Andy for Change (@AndyHagensick) May 9, 2018
This isn’t the only incident that landed Plano, TX in headlines over claims of racism. At the end of April 2018, motivational speaker, Johnny Wimbrey, was forced to leave Sambuca 360 when he allegedly politely refused to move his seat at a manager’s insistence.