Mayoral candidate accused of hitting apartment manager in face says she’s innocent, claims self-defense: ‘We all have a past’

News & Politics

A Georgia mayoral candidate who’s accused of hitting her apartment manager in the face last year and was arrested on a battery charge said she’s innocent and is claiming self-defense.

“We all have a past, for we are human,” Shekita Maxwell — who’s running for Macon-Bibb County mayor — said during a Friday press conference, WGXA-TV reported.

“I am innocent; I want you to know that in this great United States of America, I want you to know that I am innocent until proven guilty,” she added, the station said. “Due process has to take place so that democracy is not eroded.”

Check out more of what Maxwell had to say:

What’s the background?

WGXA reported in an initial story last month that Maxwell continues to face charges of battery and obstruction of an officer in connection with an August 31, 2023, incident in the clubhouse at the Bowman Station apartments in Macon.

Maxwell allegedly was upset at a landscaping crew for blowing debris on her car and said her Mercedes-Benz GLB was damaged, the station reported, adding that a responding deputy said there was dust on the car but no damage.

Apartment management — who also saw no damage — told deputies they offered to wash Maxwell’s car, after which she became aggressive and started screaming, WGXA reported. At that point, management said Maxwell was told to leave the building, the station said.

Investigators said that’s when Maxwell hit the victim in the face, causing bleeding, WGXA reported. The victim was the apartment manager.

Image source: YouTube screenshot

The apartment’s maintenance man separated the pair, forced Maxwell out of the building, and locked the doors, the station said.

Deputies added that surveillance video supports the victim’s narrative, and Bibb County Assistant Solicitor Steve Knowles said, “The evidence is clear that the Defendant [Maxwell] was the initial aggressor,” WGXA noted.

Deputies also said Maxwell resisted arrest — until one deputy pulled out her stun gun to “gain her attention,” the station reported, adding that Maxwell was not tased and eventually calmed down.

‘I was born black’

WGXA reported in a third story that Maxwell was evicted from her apartment after the incident.

More from the station:

WGXA News obtained court documents showing Bowman Station apartments, where the incident took place, filed to evict Maxwell after the fight, asking her to only pay court fees. The eviction was approved, but Maxwell appealed it. In her appeal, Maxwell said she was “illegally evicted for an unjust cost.” She added, “I followed the rules, paid rent on time, and I was born black. Black shouldn’t be a reason for eviction.”

In her appeal, Maxwell asked for a counter-judgment of $10,500.

The eviction case resulted in a two-day long trial in which the 6-person jury found in favor of Bowman Station. Maxwell was required to pay over $10,000 in back rent, attorney’s fees, and court costs.

What else?

WGXA reported in a fourth story that Maxwell was arrested prior to last year’s incident.

Maxwell sued the United States Postal Service in 2016, claiming discrimination, the station said. But when Maxwell was deposed for that case in 2017, the court reporter asked Maxwell if she ever had been charged with a criminal offense — and Maxwell confirmed she had been charged with criminal trespass in 2016, WGXA said.

She said the charges stemmed from an incident involving her daughters and a dance team of theirs, the station said, adding that Maxwell told the court reporter a judge ordered her to complete anger management courses following the incident. Maxwell also said she was placed on probation to verify she attended the counseling sessions, WGXA said.

More from the station:

In the deposition, Maxwell was also asked about her career in the military. She served for three years before being discharged. Maxwell says her discharge was a result of having a child with her commanding officer.

Her lawsuit against the USPS was centered on claims of racial and gender discrimination while she served as a mail clerk.

In Maxwell’s deposition, the court reporter addressed accusations that she lunged at another employee during an altercation while working for the USPS. Maxwell denied the accusation saying, “…she lunged at me.”

“I just stood there because I was calling her bluff,” Maxwell said, according to WGXA. “Because if she was gonna hit me, she was gonna hit me.”

Maxwell said she and the aforementioned woman had frequent altercations for several weeks, the station noted, and Maxwell said she alone was fired.

In 2018, a judge ruled in favor of the USPS, awarding none of the more than $100,000 Maxwell was asking for, the station said.

‘I’ll fight for you’

As for the 2023 accusation of hitting her then-apartment manager, Maxwell said Friday that “I’m denying it based on self-defense,” WGXA said.

Then she offered a kind of mea culpa.

“First and foremost, I apologize for my actions because a leader really shouldn’t act like that,” Maxwell said, according to the station. “[The manager] just really caught me off-guard. I want the confidence of the people to know that I’ll fight for you, but I also believe in this Constitution that I have a right to defend myself.”

WGXA noted that Maxwell said she’s running for mayor to empower the community and cut wasteful spending: “I hope that you haven’t made up your mind right now ‘concrete’ because I would love to have your vote, and whatever damage has been done, I’m here to repair it.”

The station said Maxwell is the sole challenger in a race against incumbent Mayor Lester Miller; the election is in May.

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