A white YouTube employee seen in a viral video calling 9-1-1 on a Black man visiting his building has apologized.
The video that features Christopher Cukor‘s young son begging him not to call police has made the rounds on social media. As Wesly Michel, guilty of visiting while Black, predicted in the video that he shot, Cukor has become the subject of intense backlash.
Michel was paying a visit to a friend who lives in Cukor’s building.
After the furor that was unleashed, Cukor was compelled to write an apology and publish it on Medium. He said the widespread reaction has “upended my life in unexpected ways.”
“Unfortunately, there is a terrible pattern of people calling the authorities regarding people of color for no other reason than their race,” he wrote. “The last thing I ever intended was to echo that history — and I’m sorry my actions caused Wesly to feel unfairly targeted because of his race.”
Cukor said the day was unremarkable until the time of the encounter. He wrote that he was taking his son to a friend’s house.
“I noticed Wesly Michel caught the door and entered the building without using the callbox,” Cukor wrote. “I 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.”
He said “when the encounter turned confrontational and I couldn’t resolve it myself, I called the police.”
Cukor then went into his own personal history, saying his father was murdered outside of his home in Berkeley, Calif., in 2012 by a trespasser.
“I believe people are good at heart,” Cukor wrote. “I hope Wesly will read this and understand my history as I have tried to understand his.”
The video has been viewed millions of times.