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White couple charged after aiming racial slurs at Black local hero

A Black man known as a local hero in one Louisiana town was the subject of racial slurs and assault at a casino.
Posted at 6:36 PM, Aug 22, 2023

An incident at a Louisiana casino has led to legal issues for one couple, and to nights of missed sleep for the man they targeted.

Rawlis Devon Leslie Jr., a Black man, was at the Margaritaville Resort Casino in his local Bossier City, Louisiana, on Aug. 3 when he became the subject of some visitors' racist aggression.

Footage of the altercation, which Leslie posted to his Facebook page, shows a White woman acting physically aggressive toward him while asking where he was from. A casino employee initially tries to restrain the woman. Then, a White man she was with can be seen trying to hold the woman back, as she continuously tries to kick Leslie, who was recording. 

In the post, Leslie said the woman "Went off on me, hit me in the face and kicked me in the back" because he had sat too close to her boyfriend.

The boyfriend initially appears in the video as if he's trying to keep the situation from progressing, repeatedly saying to the woman, "Ashley, stop." But once Leslie asks the casino employee if security was coming, the man seems to switch his tone, aiming a racial slur at Leslie.

The couple were later charged with disturbing the peace and public drunkenness, Bossier Police Department Public Information Officer Louis Johnson said to Storyful. 

Johnson said it was a good thing Leslie had stayed out of the altercation as best he could or it could've become even uglier.

"I am grateful that the other man involved in the incident did not respond in like manner as those two," Johnson said. "Had he done so, the situation clearly could have escalated to a bad situation."

But Leslie doesn't agree. In his Facebook post, he said the incident and not getting further involved caused him the "[worst] feeling in the world."

"I did absolutely nothing wrong nor did I defend myself against them, and I honestly feel some type of way because I didn't," he said.

He echoed this sentiment to Storyful.

"I have not had a good night's rest since this incident," he said. "I just want justice served as a reminder to treat everyone with respect and dignity."

To some in Bossier City, Leslie is known as a man who does treat others this way. 

In 2021, the U.S. Army veteran became a local hero after assisting two city police officers to save a woman's life.

The officers had pulled over to keep a lady in distress from jumping off a bridge, and after seeing the two hunched over a concrete barrier holding onto her, Leslie whipped his truck over and sprinted to help, KSLA 12 reported. Within seconds, the two officers and Leslie pulled the woman to safety. The city later gave him a Life Saving Award.

As of now, Leslie's Facebook post of the casino altercation has garnered 347,000 views and 3,200 likes.

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