A video of a tense encounter between four black students and a white man in Florida has prompted a police investigation after it went viral on Twitter.
The video, posted by one of the students of Florida A&M University, Isiah Butterfield, shows the man holding a gun and using his body to prevent the students from entering the building of a student housing complex on Saturday. The video has been viewed more than 320,000 times on Twitter.
“…We are sick of the discrimination,” said Butterfield in the tweet. “Never thought I’d have a personal experience with racism like this…”
The incident is under investigation under Florida’s statute of aggravated assault with deadly weapon without intent to kill, the Tallahassee Police Department said.
“Once we found out he had the gun, it turned into a whole different situation,” Butterfield told ABC News. “We really think he was trying to provoke us to the point where it got violent so he could retaliate with the gun. I knew that if this dude even feels threatened, he’s going to find any excuse to pull the trigger.”
ABC News reached out to the man in the video, Don Crandall, for comment and will update the story if he responds.
Butterfield said the encounter with Crandall started when the four students were waiting outside the apartment complex for their friend to let them in to join a party.
Crandall told them they weren’t getting into the building, went inside and locked the door.
“We were just sitting there confused, like why did he even say anything to us?” Butterfield said.
Then Crandall came out, again, to reiterate the point and that’s when Butterfield started recording the events on his phone. That was also when another white student, a resident of the building, tried to intervene on their behalf and let them in, urging Crandall to “keep walking” and “just go about your day.”
In the video, Crandall, who appears to be considerably older than the young students and was confirmed to not be a resident of the building, trades insults with the white student as the black students stand watching quietly. Afterward, they all enter the building but Crandall refused to let them enter the elevator with him.
“Find another elevator, you can’t get in this one,” he said, blocking their way as the four students tried to enter it.
“Why not? Do you own the building?” the students asked.
“Because you don’t belong in this building,” he replied, before adding, “You ain’t got a key for the building, you don’t belong in the elevator.”
The man took out a key to show them, which was when the students noticed he had a gun in his hand.
“Sir, you bring out your gun. What’s your purpose for that?” one of the students asked.
“Oh, I’m sorry. Excuse me. Forgive me,” he said, trying to hide it behind him.
The article goes on to say that the man’s employer, a Wyndham hotel where he was the general manager says he is no longer employed there.
And yet there are those that don’t understand why organizations like BLM are needed.
"If conservatives become convinced that they cannot win democratically, they will not abandon conservatism. They will reject democracy." David Frum, Republican, January 18, 2018
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