As previously reported, a seemingly nosey white male was caught on camera calling police on a black person as the man’s little boy begged him not to do it.
The white man, later identified as Christopher Cukor, a manager at YouTube, accused Wesley Michel, a black software engineer, of trespassing at his apartment building in San Francisco. Wesley refused to be interrogated by Cukor because he insisted he was just visiting a friend.
While Cukor is on the phone with police, his son pleads with him to stop, saying: “Daddy. Please go. I don’t like this. Look what you’ve gotten us into. Let’s go.”
The encounter was posted to Facebook on the Fourth of July.
“You’re just going to be the next person on TV,” Michel can be heard telling Cukor in the video, as he filmed him on his cell phone with authorities.
“So this is July 4th 2019,” Wesley captioned the video, which quickly went viral and sparked angry debate online.
Within days, the video was viewed millions of times, getting a boost from filmmaker Tariq Nasheed when he shared it on Twitter.
“Another anti-Black racist in the #BayArea was filmed while he made a fraudulent 911 call on an innocent Black man who was standing outside of a building waiting on his friend to come down,” Nasheed wrote. “The anti-Black racist’s name is allegedly Christopher Cukor, and he works for @youtube.”
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On Tuesday, Cukor came forward to describe the confrontation from his perspective, claiming he reacted the way the did because he saw Michel enter his apartment building without using the call box.
“I did what came naturally and asked where he was going,” he wrote, in a post he published on the site Medium. “I want to be clear on this point, this is something I do regularly, regardless of who the other person is.”
He said his actions were also motivated by a tragedy in his family — his father was murdered in 2012 after confronting a mentally ill man in his driveway in Berkeley, Calif.
“For my child’s safety, my safety and that of the building, I felt it was necessary to get help in this situation,” Cukor wrote. “Furthermore, I’ve encountered trespassers in my building and we’ve been robbed several times. This is not uncommon in San Francisco and the bad actors are all different colors.”
He went on to explain how Michel was also reacting based on America’s history of over zealous and abusive cops.
“Unfortunately there is a terrible pattern of people calling the authorities regarding people of color for no other reason than their race,” he wrote. “The last thing I ever intended was to echo that history — and I’m sorry my actions caused Wesley to feel unfairly targeted due to his race.”
Officers who responded to Cukor’s call left the scene after they found that no crime had been committed.
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