A California store owner had the cops called on him Tuesday morning for opening the door to his own business.
White folks calling the police on Blacks is becoming a trend and it was no different for a Black businessman around the Bay area. Around 6:45 a.m. Vicktor Stevenson prepared to open his shop Gourmonade in San Franciso when he noticed two police cars roll up. He was on the phone, outside of his store, conversing with the security company after thinking he’d set off his alarm. Four officers confronted the man and said they’d received a call that he was trying to burglarize the place.
(photo credit: NBC2 screenshot)
“I laughed and said, ‘That’s funny, this is actually my business’,” Stevenson told NBC-2.
The Gourmonade owner noted that one of the cops had his hand close to his weapon. After being asked to prove the store belong to him Stevenson pulled out his key without hesitation and opened the door. It was important for him to show authorities that he “wasn’t a threat at all.” He then was asked to hand over his ID.
The father of one said, “I was reluctant to give them my ID. I didn’t want to give them my ID and I just obliged after a while because I’ve seen what’s been going on every single day out here and I didn’t want to become a statistic. So I just gave them my ID and they ran it.”
Stevenson posted an aftermath video of the incident on Facebook and received an abundance of support from social media followers. He said, “People die because of this kinda misuse of police resources and racial profiling every day. I’m just blessed to be alive to tell my story and hopefully can help spark some major changes in how these situations are handled. It’s a criminal act and should be treated as such.”
The store owner said being racially profiled is nothing new to him. He added that the cops weren’t rude, but only doing their job.
“As a grown man, when four men approach you with weapons, and you don’t have anything to protect yourself, you feel vulnerable and kind of disrespected, so that’s my only hangup. Other than that, they did their job,” he expressed.
Stevenson said it was a scary incident because he’s a new father to a 9-month-old and the situation could have taken a turn for the worst. He deemed the caller a “criminal” and said, “they should be the one being questioned.” He knows for a fact the call to the cops was racially motivated.
“I could be wrong but I’m almost 1000% sure this was racially inspired,” the shop owner said. “I can respect my neighbors being neighbors and being neighborly and calling the cops if they feel that way, if they see that. But, I didn’t have a brick in my hand, I wasn’t rummaging through my business.”
However, good came from the sour situation. Those who’ve heard his story have supported his lemonade shop and sales have been booming ever since.
“For me, the success isn’t in the sales, the success is in just being here and taking my vision and making it a real thing,” he added.