It’s all about context. I’m sure white people do get asked for IDs randomly, but for black people that’s a constant of their existence.
As Michel told Cukor, people had called the cops on him like 6 times already. The dude was a SWE. (Cukor of course showed no remorse, sympathy, or emotion.)
Separate incident, Philando Castile had been stopped 52 times “randomly” by the police before they shot and killed him while his girlfriend and baby daughter were in the back seat. His crime? Simply reaching for his wallet, and a jittery trigger-happy cop.
Most tech industry people, like cops, have no actual experience with blacks, Mexicans, etc., especially ones from the hood. That’s why they’re terrified of them and have no empathy.
there is a simple question here. does attempted tailgating (which was unsuccessful given both parties end up outside of the building eventually) warrant a 911 police call? the answer is no for most people. it’s certainly rationale to protect your building from someone entering without permission, but once that was accomplished successfully, there is no need for 911 - he could have canceled the request. however, if your personality needs to assert authority or power over a stranger, or if you are racist or if you just have a big ego in need of massaging, then the answer is likely yes. and i don’t see any sign that cukor believes he and his son are truly in danger, otherwise he would not be so confrontational. if you feel in danger and have a young child, wouldn’t you actually avoid confrontation???
I’m surprised so many have leapt to judgement without all the facts. What if Michel actually did tailgate Cukor? From the video it looks like Cukor is outside while Michel is in the entryway.
I think most would agree that if a stranger tailgates you into your building’s entryway, refuses to identify himself and won’t say who he is meeting, it would qualify as suspicious to say the least. Not to mention, contrary to Michel’s original story, the person he was meeting was not in the building.
We need more details of what transpired to render a verdict.
We’re not talking about hanging out in the lobby. We’re talking about someone tailgating you past a locked door to get into the entryway, which in many buildings in sf is basically the mail room. When I first moved in I was asked several times if I lived there. I don’t think it had anything to do with race and had more to with my neighbors not wanting a stranger in the entryway and stealing packages.
@2muchblind that’s not right at all. Every apartment building I’ve lived at in SF has asked residents to not allow tailgaters, ask people if they live there, etc. That’s because all of those buildings have a problem with package theft particularly. I had a good friend assaulted by a stranger hanging around the building entrance. I personally had packages stolen. (In every case I’ve seen video of the perpetrators actually they’ve been white). So I, a person of color, regularly ask tailgaters if the live here, and ask them to wait outside and call their host if not. I usually act apologetic about it and explain something about how we’ve had a problem with theft.
This guy handled it wrong, no doubt. But legally, he’s totally in the right. The black guy should not have bypassed the access control, and should have stepped outside of the private lobby and waited for his friend there.
The problem isn’t that someone is exercising their right to question a tailgater.
The problem is when a black person has the cops called on him 6 times for doing something that is probably more or less commonplace.
This is the time he stood his ground and said, you know what, screw you — and made a video of the guy calling the cops on him. He may have been within his legal rights, but Cukor‘s behavior and attitude were extremely problematic here.
“Doing something which is more or less commonplace” - no, it’s not commonplace to let strangers hang out in your condo lobby, especially when package theft is a problem. In fact I just read that Cukor is a condo owner (so yes it’s his property), the building had a problem with trespassers, and Cukor was the head of the HOA security committee.
No question that Cukor’s attitude and behavior were problematic. He should have treated Michel with respect. But it’s also the case that Michel should not have tailgated and should have stepped outside when first asked to do so. That lobby was not a public space.
put yourself in the shoes of black employees at youtube who might work with this guy. at a minimum this guy needs to be expressing much more empathy and remorse. ideally, these 2 get together and listen to each other and cukor has an educational experience on white privilege and gets a deeper understanding of what it is like to be a black person in this country. i sense he only wrote that medium post as damage control. his mention of his father is sad but actually seems disingenuous given if he learned anything from his unfortunate loss of his dad, is that you should avoid confrontation, especially when you could harm your child.
The story of his father is awful. But why can’t he just be more reasonable in the video? “Listen man, we don’t allow tailgating here and we’re all responsible for safety as residents of the building. My father was killed by a trespasser and so I take this particularly seriously no matter who it maybe.” End of story.
Father was murdered by a trespasser who was mentally disabled. But the person Cukor encountered was not mentally disabled. What else about the man could have triggered Cukor's irrational hatred. He's a racist, plain and simple. He only wrote the Medium piece when he got caught and publicly shamed.
Hey folks perhaps you should consider that calling the police on a black person for a non crime is still an extreme act of violence. Police tend to go from 0 to 100 quickly with African Americans whereas I doubt that most white people would actually fear that contact with police in this situation could result in violence or death. Unless Cukor lives under a rock, he knows this and uses it as a threat. That’s the problem in this situation.
Next time you see a black person tailgate you —especially if you work at Amazon— at work, don’t be a racist and ask for his ID. Just hold the door open lest someone accuses you of not holding the door for black men!
I don’t think you should confront tailgaters unless you’re trained to handle the consequences of such a confrontation. If you notice a tailgater, and you’re genuinely concerned, notify corporate security.
It’s easy to make a statement after the fact to paint yourself in the best or most excusable light possible. The reality is though that this man’s own son could sense the encounter was unreasonable and pleaded with him to let it go.
for all those commenting with strong opinions, i think it’s useful to get all the info: 1) watch the full video 2) watch the cnn interview 3) read the comments from michel’s sister in his fb thread 4) read cukor’s medium post
my attempt at an objective take: -Michel did attempt to tailgate, but cukor stopped him and michel obliged and didn’t enter the building; the incident should have ended here. -at this point, there is no threat. so why call the cops? this is where things seem excessive. ask yourself, would you call the cops? (my sf condo building has had multiple break ins and i’m not scarred to the point of Cukors actions) -at a minimum, Cukor escalated by trying to assert authority / power by demanding his name and who he was visiting and being somewhat condescending by offering to hold the door (it’s his tone not the offer). it is pretty clear Cukor wants a confrontation. if he in any way felt there was danger, he would not have created confrontation especially with his son present and his history of his dad being killed in a confrontation with a mentally ill man in berkeley. cukor could have easily walked away and avoided the confrontation once michel was outside of the building or even walked away and observed what michel did next and then potentially address situation if michel tried to enter again. -later, it was noted by michel, they cukor changed his story and said michel threatened him and cukor felt unsafe. does anyone see cukor acted scared or any real threat in the video? i don’t think posting a video is a threat to cukor (at the time he didn’t seem to care) -my final takeaway : Cukor seemed to seek out confrontation. not sure if his behavior is driven by racism or just bc he is a power seeking jerk but in the realm of fault for this incident, i’d say cukor is 90% of the problem and michel 10%. michel did try to tailgate and he should know better given he worked at fb where tailgating is an obvious no no given their incredible security.
Well formulated assessment. It is the escalation by Cukor of a relatively benign situation that raises the question of his motivations and whether they are driven by racism. Now the question is, if you are YouTube, do you take action based on this encounter? Does this reflect poorly on them if they don’t?
watch the cnn interview. also even if he is in the doorway (which i don’t believe he is), during the course of the video they both walk away from the door yet cukor continues the police call and they eventually came (per the cnn interview). cukor had multiple opportunities to call off the police request and recognize there was no need for the police. once the friend shows up cukor realizes wesly is not a threat yet he still had the police come. they end up both telling the police their sides of the story (and cukors recount of the story sounds dishonest by claiming wesly threatened him to the point where he didn’t feel safe) and when the police watch the video on wesly’s phone they determine there is no issue. above everything, cukor’s son the whole time is asking him to stop. if your son gets that upset, wouldn’t you be more focused on your son vs your ego and need to win argument with a stranger?
nzxh77 you make some fair points and you have a unique pov that is valuable in this thread. but i’d say not all poc experience the same type of racism or non racism. asians experience different types of racism than black people than brown people. and unconscious bias and white privilege can be very subtle. but i still hold to the point that this situation in no way called for 911. and as a sf tax payer, it is annoying he wasted city resources for what seemed very much like an ego play. would he have called the police if it were a white female? maybe he would have been more compassionate as you say? if you think he would have acted differently, then that is a form of racism whether conscious or subconscious.
poc bere. i knew chris personally. one of the most pleasant persons I ever worked with. context is everything. wesly should have thought twice before tailgating someone into a secure building, which at this point, the onus is on wesly to justify reasonably for his presence in the building. when chris started his inquiry, which were also reasonable, wesley became combative, and did threaten chris that he was going to put him on tv. also stated it is illegal to call cops on blackpeople (???). i can understand why wesly immediately starts defensive, i am sure he has been harassed many, many times. if wesly had any decency, he should not have started swearing infront of chris's kid. that was NOT cool, regardless of situation. wesly acting like he had absolute right to be in a secure building is simply wrong as well. chris could have defused the situation by trying more to be compassionate human being and not resort to calling the cops. overall, just a really fd up situation that no one wins, and the hype feeding the social justice warriors online doxing and calling chris' head on the platter.