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After footage of a White woman pulling a gun on a Black mother and daughter went viral, a couple have been charged with felonious assault.
The couple – who have now been identified as Jillian Wuestenberg, 32, and Eric Wuestenberg, 42 – are facing a maximum of four years in prison following the incident filmed on July 1 outside Oakland County Chipotle in Orion Township, Michigan.
Videos show an initial argument outside the restaurant, which escalated in the car park to the point Jillian eventually took out her gun and point it at Takelia Hill and 15-year-old Makayla Green.
Sheriff Michael Bouchard of Oakland County explained at a later news conference that both Jillian and Eric had guns in their possession, which they were legally permitted to carry. However, he added that ‘any weapon that could cause serious and potentially deadly injury can be charged as a felonious assault,’ as per The New York Times.
Makayla previously told The Detroit News: ‘Before I could walk into Chipotle, this woman was coming out and I had moved out the way so she can walk out.’ After Makayla said ‘Excuse you’, the woman ‘started cussing me out and saying things like I was invading her personal space’.
Bouchard corroborated this part of the story, explaining that ‘one person said they didn’t realise they had bumped the other person with the food bag, and the other person felt they needed to get an apology. Then it escalated from there.’
In additional footage, prior to the gun being pulled, Jillian is accused of being ‘ignorant and racist’, to which she replied: ‘White people aren’t racist. No one’s racist. I care about you. I care about you and I’m sorry if you had an incident that has made someone make you feel like that. No one is racist. I’m sorry if you had something like that happen.’
Afterwards, Takelia hit the back of their SUV when she thought they were trying to hit her, prompting Jillian to pull a gun and say: ‘Get away!’ Eventually, she got back in the car and the couple drove away.
In the fallout of the incident, Eric lost his job as a coordinator of veterans support services at the University of Michigan, which wrote in a statement: ‘We have seen the video and we deem his behaviour unacceptable. The employee has been notified that his employment has been terminated by the university.’
Bouchard added at the news conference: ‘My plea is, please let us all try to be that voice of calm in the storm, and remember each one of us is a human being that deserves respect.’
If you have been affected by any of the issues in this article and wish to speak to someone in confidence, contact Stop Hate UK by visiting their website www.stophateuk.org/talk
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