Police are investigating an incident captured on a viral video that shows a heated exchange in which a man entering the Stadium Centre apartments displayed a gun while arguing with several Florida A&M University students.
Officer Damon Miller, a spokesman for the Tallahassee Police Department, said the department was notified following the late afternoon Saturday incident.
In the video, the man, whose name hasn’t been released by TPD, appears to be arguing with four younger men. The man holding the gun in the video has been identified by social media users as an employee of the Baymont Inn & Suites by Wyndham Hotels. Members of an activist group are calling for him to be fired.
Social media outrage bubbled up after it appears the older man was holding a gun while standing in the elevator of the Stadium Centre apartment building at 699 Gaines St.
He blocks the group of men from entering the elevator. On the video, three of the young men are black and one is white.
The Famuan is reporting the group of men are Florida A&M University students who were trying to visit the apartment.
On the video, the man in a baseball cap confronted the FAMU students and told them they were not getting into the building unless they were residents with keys. The students, according to the Famuan, explained to the man that they were visiting a friend who lived there. Another white resident intervened to help the FAMU students get into the building.
“Chad stepped in to help us because the other white man was being racist by not letting us in,” Isaiah Thomas, one of the four FAMU students, told the Famuan.
In the video, the man identified as Chad said, “You’re just not man enough to go about your day.”
After the white resident entered the building, Stephen Brooks, another one of the four FAMU students, caught the door to enter.
The Famuan reported that the exchange between the FAMU students, Chad, and the older man escalated as they all approached the elevator. The man proclaimed that this was his elevator and he refused to let any of the FAMU students on.
Several people begin talking over each other in raised voices. It’s not clear whether there was any physical contact before, during or after the heated exchange.
The Tallahassee Community Action Committee, a local activist group, is calling for the person in the video to be fired and say the exchange and his display of a gun is racially motivated.
Regina Joseph, a TCAC co-founder, said the viral video was reminiscent of racially charged viral videos that have ended in controversy or violence. She said, after seeing the Tallahassee-based video, “it really hit too close to home.”
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