A Chicago nail shop owner who initially contended he did nothing wrong when faced with allegations he mistreated Black customers has flipped his story, according to video of the man shown apologizing to Black women.
“Let me stay in the business,” he said in the video filmmaker Tariq Nasheed shared on Twitter Friday. “Let me keep continue to serve you, and I will try my best.”
The unidentified owner initially told reporters he was only trying to make sure customers paid him, but he changed his tune when questioned after his shop was shut down by a local Black activist.
“I’m sorry,” he said in the video. “Please help me.”
The shop, Colour Nails near 83rd Street and Stewart Avenue on Chicago’s South Side, went viral when Tyrone Muhammad, a Black community activist, was shown on video throwing bricks through the shop’s window to advocate for Black customers.
Before he did, he issued this warning:
“Sisters, y’all can step away from this window or y’all can come up out of here. It’s up to y’all…I’m letting y’all know it’s the second time I dun been here with this shop disrespecting Black women. This is over with.”
Women in the shop shown getting their nails done didn’t move.
“Y’all can step away from this window or y’all can stay here continue to support these people that continue to disrespect y’all,” Muhammad said. “And when Black men stand up for y’all while these clowns disrespecting us, we don’t get the support we need from y’all.”
Still, the women didn’t move.
“Come on out. Y’all need to come on out,” a woman off-camera can be heard saying in the video. “You’re being warned. We gon’ shut it down.”
A store employee thanked the woman, to which she responded:
“All right, no problem.”
The sound of shattering glass immediately followed, and the patrons started to move.
Muhammad was later shown in the same video being handcuffed by police.
The incident, which led to a misdemeanor charge of criminal damage to property for Muhammad, was prompted by an incident involving customer Charmaine Jones, according to WGN 9.
The woman is shown in Facebook video shoving an unidentified man at the nail shop, but she told WGN that only showed half the story.
“He told me to get out of his chair. He’s not doing my nails. I change my mind too much,” Jones told WGN.
She said, as she was leaving the business, the man started to “push me, shove me, and hit me.” She said he also “attempted to bite me.”
Another worker could be seen attempting to grab the phone of the woman recording the incident.
Jones said at one point in the encounter, she was reaching back inside the store to get to her sister.
Muhammad said he took the incident and others like it personally and he had met with the owner previously regarding how Black customers were treated. Nothing changed, he told WGN.
“I take a personal responsibility in being a vanguard for my community,” he said.
The nail shop was boarded up and closed in September, WGN reported.
Muhammad started a GoFundMe page Sept. 4 for his effort “to build better communities” that has raised more than $33,130, surpassing a $31,980 goal.
The organizer asked for support on the page “for the stance he took to protect black women and our community.”
“Help us make a statement & don’t let his efforts go in vain,” an organizer said on GoFundMe.