A couple from San Francisco who went viral after calling the cops on a person of color for writing "Black Lives Matter" on his property has publicly apologized, ABC7 News reports. 😏
In the alarming clip that has been viewed more than 17.5 million times at publishing time for this piece, James Juanillo is confronted by Lisa Alexander and her partner Robert Larkin for stenciling the statement in chalk on a wall in front of his home.
Wrongfully assuming that Juanillo was defacing private property, the woman and man press him about what he's doing. "Your signs and everything, that's good," Alexander says. "This is not the way to do it."
Juanillo tried to help as he hinted at the idea that he could indeed be a resident, but the couple paid him no mind, claiming they "know the person who does live here."
One of the other owners of the home, Brad Gilbertson, responded: "She doesn't know me."
Walking away, Juanillo encouraged them to call the police since they believed he was committing a crime, and they did. But when the cops showed up, they didn't even bother getting out of their car – they immediately recognized him as a resident.
As it turns out, Alexander is the CEO of the skincare company LaFace, and she issued a statement admitting that she acted like someone "who is not aware of the damage caused by being ignorant and naive" to racism.
"The last 48 hours has taught me that my actions were those of someone who is not aware of the damage caused by being ignorant and naive to racial inequalities," she wrote. "When I watch the video I am shocked and sad that I behaved the way I did. It was disrespectful to Mr. Juanillo and I am deeply sorry for that."
Larkin also offered his own apology, saying that he was "profoundly sorry for treating [Juanillo] with disrespect." But his employer, Raymond James, didn't hesitate to give him the ax, writing that his actions "were inconsistent with our values."