The YouTube exec who called the cops on a black man in California — as he waited for his friend inside of their apartment building lobby — insists that his actions were not racially motivated.
“Unfortunately there is a terrible pattern of people calling the authorities regarding people of color for no other reason than their race,” said Christopher Cukor in a statement posted on Medium Tuesday. “The last thing I ever intended was to echo that history.”
The recording shows Cukor, accompanied by his young son, confronting Michel outside of the condo building on Van Ness Avenue and demanding to know who he is visiting in the building, then subsequently calling police to report a “trespasser,” while his child tearfully begs him to stop. From behind the camera, Michel implores Cukor to “listen to your son,” and warns “you’re going to be the next person on TV.”
The video spread rapidly across social media, with over 1.6 million views on Facebook and 3.5 million views on Twitter as of Tuesday night.
Ol' Chris tried to delete info from his linkdin, facebook and other accounts, but we got them screen shots tho. pic.twitter.com/H7UdgTYxlu
— Tariq Nasheed ?? (@tariqnasheed) July 7, 2019
NY Magee, EURWeb.com
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.”
Cukor — who was being begged on video by his son to stop calling 911 — claims that he was “coming into this situation” with a “unique history.”
“My father was murdered outside his home by a trespasser who he confronted alone,” he said. “For my child’s safety, my safety and that of the building, I felt it was necessary to get help in this situation. 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. I now realize that Wesly was reacting based on his unique history as well…I’m sorry my actions caused Welsy to feel unfairly targeted due to his race.”
Michel, a 35-year-old software engineer, has said that he felt the entire incident was racially motivated.
It “mirrors the experience that African Americans endure daily where we are questioned on whether we belong,” he told CNN. “I videotaped this incident to protect myself and to support my story should police get involved.”