A Charlotte trans woman, Johna’e Wright, 27, says she was attacked and beaten January 29 by a co-worker who had expressed anti-trans hatred towards her during the two weeks they worked together at Insomnia Cookies.
Wright and Tim Canon, 29, the fellow employee accused of the attack, have since reportedly been suspended from their jobs pending further investigation.
Canon, a gay man, has said that he was attacked, acted in self-defense and has no bias towards Wright or anyone else in the transgender community.
According to Wright, Canon had refused to recognize her proper pronouns or call her by the name Jona’e (pronounced Jah-nay).
In a video conference Wright elaborated on her initial statements, explaining that Cannon had asked her to come to their place of work to discuss the apparent communication issues. She agreed, she said, and met him there with the understanding they were going to have a civil conversation. However, according to Wright, following a brief exchange, Canon reportedly attacked her, hitting her multiple times and wrestling her to the ground. She says he held her there with his knee to her neck, telling her he was “going to kill her.”
Wright was on her phone at the purported time of the attack, and some video footage does exist, although it is inconclusive.
Canon claims a completely different version of events. He says the two of them had no difficulties working together initially, but after what he described as inappropriately flirtatious behavior from Wright towards him during working hours, which he chose to ignore, their working relationship appeared to sour, he theorized.
When he inquired as to what the specific issue might be that was causing tension between the two employees, he says she became hostile and later threatened to “beat his ass” in a text message exchange. It was later when he was in the neighboring Krispy Kreme restroom that he recalls Wright busted in, threatened him and the two began to argue. The argument reportedly moved out into the restaurant and then on to the sidewalk in front of Krispy Kreme, where he claims it became physical when she kicked the back of his leg, causing him to fall, with her landing on top of him.
While witnesses say the two of them battled it out in the parking lot, the police were contacted and later arrived to find Wright and Canon still at odds.
Police on the scene are reported to have broken up the fight, deeming it as an affray, or fighting and arguing in a public place. They advised both Wright and Canon to leave the scene. No charges were filed, and no arrests were made.
When Wright later attempted to file a police report, she was told by police officers that because the dispute was labeled an affray by Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department authorities, it was not in her best interest to file a report.
CMPD officials have since confirmed with Qnotes that in the case of an affray, filing a report could potentially make both parties involved suspects and result in unexpected consequences for Wright.
In response to the ongoing dispute between the two and concerns from the LGBTQ community, the Charlotte division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) held a community conference via internet video February 8.
The three agents on hand answered questions from members of the community and took suggestions for ways they could improve on interacting with the local LGBTQ population, but deferred any questions referencing the altercation and ongoing dispute between Wright and Canon.
Now nearly two weeks later, no legal action has been taken and neither version of events from Canon or Wright has been confirmed.
This story is ongoing. Additional information will be provided as it becomes available.