A Minneapolis man has been accused of racially profiling a group of black entrepreneurs in a video that has gone viral.
In the video, the white man threatened to call the cops on the group after they entered the office building’s communal gym.
Tom Austin, the managing partner of F2 Group, questioned whether they really worked there and said he would call the police as they were trespassing in the MozAic East building on Lagoon Ave.
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The group of African-Americans, who all run social media company Top Figure based in the building, started filming the incident, which they said occurred around 8pm on Monday.
“Normally we don’t speak out about encounters of racial profiling and age discrimination that we face day to day in our lives as young black entrepreneurs,” Top Figure said after posting the video to their Instagram page.
“As we were working out this man approached and immediately asked us who we were and if ‘WE BELONG’ in this building.”
In the clip, Mr Austin is heard identifying himself and saying that he is a tenant in the building before asking the men: “Are you?”
He is also seen taking pictures of them, before adding: “What office are you in? I’m calling 911 now.”
Top Figure noted that tenants of the building need a key card to access every part of the building.
“We all pay rent here and this man demanded that we show him our key cards or he will call the cops on us,” they said on social media.
“We are sick and tired of tolerating this type of behaviour on a day to day basis and we feel that we had to bring light onto this situation.”
Having been caught out, Mr Austin was apologetic.
He told Newsweek in an email that he “f***ed up” and “should have handled it differently”, but insisted the incident had nothing to do with race.
“They got in my face in a very threatening manner and I threatened back to call (building) security. I would have done this regardless of race. So this is bullsh**,” Mr Austin said.
The incident in the gym occurred a day after the death of George Floyd, a black man, following his arrest in Minneapolis.
Racial tensions are currently at an all-time high in America, with riots taking over the country.