Kai Waters is an army sergeant based in Fort Knox, Kentucky. The 33 year old Waters has been arrested and accused of felony assault after she stabbed another woman in the leg with a machete. Waters says that she was acting out of self defense and that the other woman attacked her first. Waters also says the other woman, who is white, unleashed a racist rant against her. Waters’ superior officer is also standing behind her and says she believes in Waters’ innocence.
The encounter between Waters and the other woman took place in Elizabethtown, Kentucky while Waters was on her way home. According to Waters, the other woman followed her to a gas station, got out of her car, and attacked her. Waters says she fought the woman off. She has filed her own complaint against the other woman. Waters is now waiting to find out whether a grand jury will indict her on felony assault charges. You can see video of the fight between Waters and the other woman here.
Here’s what you need to know about Kai Waters:
1. She Says the Other Woman Called Her a ‘Black B****’ & Said ‘I’m Tired of Your People’
Waters told the press that the other woman went out of her way to aggressively attack her while they were both driving in Elizabethtown. Waters, who is African American, said the woman, who was white, called her racial slurs and bumped her car. She said, “She started honking her horn and pulled next to me. She called me a black b***h, and said ‘your kind.’ She said, ‘I’m so tired of your people’ and all this.”
Eventually Waters decided to pull over and call 911. That’s when the other woman allegedly got out of her car and started attacking Waters. Video footage shows the fight between the two women, in which Waters pulled out a long knife. You can watch that fight here.
2. A GoFundMe Page for Waters Has Already Raised Over $15,000
Waters’ friends and supporters set up a crowdfunding page a few weeks after Waters stabbed the woman in Elizabethtown. The page has already brought in more than $15,000 for Waters’ legal defense fund. The page says, “Waters did everything we tell people to do when being pursued by a stranger. SFC Waters called the police for help. She pulled over in a lighted area. She made a statement to the police officers who arrived on scene, after she is the one who called them; they did not listen. Guilty people do not call 911.”
The GoFundMe page says that Waters had a stellar reputation and that she was in line for a promotion, until she was arrested and treated like a felon. The page says that the funds raised will be used for Waters’ defense and that any leftover money will be donated to the Southern Poverty Law Center.
3. Waters, a Decorated Sergeant Who Has Served in Iraq & Afghanistan, Has Been Suspended from Her Job at Fort Knox
The incident between Waters and the other woman took place on February 22. Now, nearly two months later, Waters is waiting for a grand jury to decide whether to indict her on felony assault charges, after she pulled out a knife and stabbed the woman in the leg. Waters says that she acted out of self defense after the other woman attacked her again and again. She says she had already pulled over and called 911 when the other woman attacked her.
Waters, an army sergeant stationed at Fort Knox, has been suspended from her job while she waits for the grand jury to make its decision. She has been confined to barracks and has been ordered to undergo a mental health evaluation.
Waters has served in both Iraq and Afghanistan. She has won a number of medals, including seven Army Commendation Medals, 12 Army Achievement Medals, and four Good Conduct Medals, each one presented after three years of unblemished service.
4. Waters Says Police Assumed She Was the Attacker Because of Her Age & Race — Even Though She Was the One Who Called 911
Waters says that the other woman went out of her way to attack her, for reasons that are still unclear. She says that while they were both driving, the woman began yelling racial slurs at her and bumped hr car. Waters decided to pull over and call 911. But when she stopped her car in a gas station, the other woman got out of her car and began attacking her, Waters says. That’s when Waters pulled out a long knife and, she says, used it to defend herself.
waters says that in fact, she was still on the phone with 911 when Elizabethtown police officers arrived on the scene. She said when the police showed up, the other woman started to cry for help. The police decided that Waters had been the aggressor and, she says, they put her in the back of their police car and refused to listen to her story.
“I thought hopefully, someone is going to listen to me, they’re going to get my story,” she said. “But that never happened.”
5. Waters Is Originally from Chicago & Says Moving to Kentucky Was the Happiest Day of Her Life
Waters is originally from Chicago. She moved to Fort Knox eight months ago, after being stationed in Harbin, New York. At the time, Waters was thrilled with the move. “Oh I was happy, it was like the happiest day of my life,” Waters said. At Fort Knox, she is assigned to the Human Resource command. The Army Times reports that Waters works in career management for the chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear specialist military occupational specialty.
But after being arrested on felony assault charges, Waters said her outlook had changed. “I’m worried,” she said. “I’m concerned, I’m scared and I’m terrified.”
Waters’ superior says she believes Waters is completely innocent and is standing beside her. “She is a trusted leader and this turn of events is in total contradiction to her performance and character,” Lt. Col. Alicia Masson, her branch chief, told Army Times. “I understand the police department has a job to do but now that the truth is seen by video that our soldier was attacked, I hope there will be swift correction to this situation and her rights returned. I stand behind her and am anxious for justice.”