Barely 48 hours after Amy Cooper lost her job and her dog for calling the police on a black man after he asked her to leash her dog, a white man in Minneapolis who was caught on camera calling the authorities on five black men for using the gym of an office building of which they all are tenants got his lease terminated over the incident.
Tom Austin, a middle-age man who is also the managing partner of F2 Group lost his lease in a venture capitalist’s office building after a viral video on Instagram showed him threatening to call the police on black men who refused to answer his questions about where their office was.
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Normally we don’t speak out about encounters of racial profiling and age discrimination that we face day to day in our lives as young black entrepreneurs. Although today May 26th 2020 7:51pm we encountered a situation where a man entered the facility, a shared private gym that we utilize in our @wework @mozaic_east office located in uptown Minnesota. Granted we’ve been in this office space and have rented and grown our business for the past 1 year and half here. As we were working out this man approached and immediately asked us who we were and if “WE BELONG” in this building. Granted in order to enter the building you NEED a key card to enter EVERY part of the building which EACH of our team members individually have. We all pay rent here and this man demanded that we show him our key cards or he will call the cops on us. We are sick and tired of tolerating this type of behavior on a day to day basis and we feel that we had to bring light onto this situation.
The 5 black men in question are young entrepreneurs who own Top Figure, a social media and branding agency that is part of the WeWork co-working space in the Mozaic East building where the gym is located. Video footage of the confrontation with Austin was posted on Top Figure’s Instagram page and has since gone viral.
Austin’s lease was terminated over the incident and he has since offered an apology saying, via email, “Should have handled it differently. Not my job to have done anything.”
It might be of interest to know that this happened in the same city where just a day prior, a white Minneapolis police officer made the news for kneeling on the neck of George Floyd, a 46year-old black man who later died, prompting protests against racism and police violence all over the city.