Police are looking into an incident that was recorded on video, and which was later posted on social media. The video in question has gone viral, and shows a heated and tense confrontation between a white hotel manager, Don Crandall, and a group of black students attending Florida A&M.
It appears that the incident started because the students reportedly didn’t have a key to get into the building, and Crandall wanted to prevent them from entering the elevator, detailed The Hill. Rather than using his words to explain why he couldn’t let the students in the elevator without a key, Crandall went ahead and pulled out a gun and stated, “If you don’t got a key to this building, you don’t belong in the elevator.”
The exchange included a student asking Crandall, “Sir, you bringing out your gun, what’s your purpose for that?” To that, the manager told the students to find another elevator, and said “Let me be clear: You ain’t getting in this f–king elevator… You think I’m f–king kidding?”
The student housing building in question is called The Baymont by Wyndham of Tallahassee Central. It is managed by The Pax Hotel Group, which is the company that Crandall was working for at the time of the incident.
However, since the video was released, the company was quick to respond and issued a formal apology on Instagram.
A group of Black FAMU students came to the Stadium Centre apartments to visit their friend who just moved in. A white man blocked them from taking the elevator and pulled the gun on them.
This is racial profiling at its finest! pic.twitter.com/2k7dlK1JtO
— Together we rise ???????? (@Matsamon) September 11, 2018
The company stated the following.
“One of Pax Hotel Group’s Core Values is to treat others the way you would like to be treated. While at work or out in our every day lives we expect our employees to have this core value in mind, we would like to apologize to those affected by the actions of our former employee.”
The student that filmed and posted the incident is named Isaiah Thomas. When he was asked why nobody called the police on Crandall for threatening them with a gun, this is what he said, according to The New York Post.
“That would have just been another black man dead.”
Even before the company fired Crandall, the Tallahassee Community Action Committee stated that the whole thing was “racially motivated” and called for the community to request that Crandall to be fired, described The Tallahassee Democrat.
“Let me be clear: You ain’t getting in this f–king elevator,” the man told the boys https://t.co/ARoONECzxW
— New York Post (@nypost) September 12, 2018
During the exchange, there is one white male student present, who has only been identified as Chad. The student did what he could to stand up to Crandall, and even told the black students that they could enter the building with him.