Police questioned a Black San Francisco man last week after a neighbor said he was burglarizing his own business, HuffPost reports.
Viktor Stevenson, who runs the high-end lemonade stand Gourmonade, said he was testing out his security system on Thursday when officers approached him.
“I say, ‘Oh, did the security system go off? If it did, my apologies. I am on the phone with the company now,’” Stevenson told NBC Bay Area. He said cops told him they received a call that someone was “breaking into” the business.
Stevenson showed the officers his store key and his ID to prove that it was, in fact, his business.
“I said, ‘yeah absolutely, here is my key,'” Stevenson said. “Took my key out, opened my door, closed my door. ‘Are we ok? Are we good to go?’ He said, ‘no, can I see your ID?'”
Stevenson has faced discrimination before as a Black business owner. He told AJ+ that when he was opening up his lemonade stand months ago someone wrote, “monkey juice” on the side of the store.
“This isn’t anything new for me, but it’s new for me as a father and as a husband,” Stevenson told AJ+. “And I don’t think my family or any other family should have to go through this for no reason.”
This is what it's like for a black business owner in a gentrifying SF neighborhood: Racist graffiti and calls to the police for unlocking your own store. pic.twitter.com/F9lVsIaKM7
— AJ+ (@ajplus) July 20, 2018
What's Your Reaction?
Teddy is a multimedia journalist who serves as the culture and political writer for EBONY. His work has appeared in NBC's Owned and Operated stations, as well as DNAInfo, which covered local neighborhood news in New York City. He received his Masters in Journalism from the Craig Newmark School of Journalism at CUNY in 2017.