The white man who called police and accused a Black software engineer waiting for his friend of trespassing says race had nothing to do with his decision to call the cops.
“Unfortunately there is a terrible pattern of people calling the authorities regarding people of color for no other reason than their race,” Christopher Cukor wrote in a Medium post Tuesday about his encounter with Wesly Michel. “The last thing I ever intended was to echo that history — and I’m sorry my actions caused Welsy to feel unfairly targeted due to his race.”
Cukor called the incident a “chance encounter” that “upended” his life.
Cukor, a YouTube worker, was with his son when he decided to approach Wesly Michel July 4 instead of immediately leaving his San Francisco building to take his boy to a friend’s house as planned, according to the New York Post.
“Like many in San Francisco, I live in a building with a security callbox and residents in the building count on that security measure,” Cukor wrote in his post.
When he noticed Michel caught one of the building’s doors and entered the building without using the call box, Cukor wrote he did “what came naturally and asked where he was going.”
“I want to be clear on this point, this is something I do regularly, regardless of who the other person is,” Cukor wrote.
He says he even offered to hold the door open for Michel while he used the call box.
“As I learned later, Wesly was a friend of a guest of a resident in the building,” Cukor said. “The building resident was not expecting Wesly.”
Video of the incident, which has since gone viral, shows Michel refusing to use the call box and Cukor calling the police while his son is begging him not to.
“I agree with him daddy. It’s the better. Let’s go. Please, I don’t like this,” the boy said, crying. “I don’t like this. Daddy, I don’t like this. Let’s go.”
Cukor explained his decision not to follow the advice in the blog post.
“When the encounter turned confrontational and I couldn’t resolve it myself, I called the police,” he said.
After reflecting on the encounter, Cukor said his past experience clouded his actions.
“My father was murdered outside his home by a trespasser who he confronted alone,” Cukor said. “For my child’s safety, my safety and that of the building, I felt it was necessary to get help in this situation.”
Cukor said he’s encountered trespassers in his building before and he’s been robbed several times.
“This is not uncommon in San Francisco and the bad actors are all different colors,” Cukor said.
Michel said in a CNN interview following his encounter with Cukor that it “mirrors the experience that African-Americans endure daily where we are questioned on whether we belong.”
“I videotaped this incident to protect myself and to support my story should police get involved,” he said.