Update! The white man in the video has been identified as William “Hank” Beasley, who worked at Apex Systems, KNTV reported.
A San Francisco Latino man was blocked from entering his own apartment building by a white couple who called him a “criminal.” Michael Barajas, a Berkeley graduate, was harassed.
See actual video!
This happened in #SF. My friend’s friend. In #SOMA. The Bay Area is not special. Yt racists Karens blocking a Chicanx from entering their residence b/c they “don’t look like they belong.” Racist Yt ppl have nasty power complex and violent tendencies. Check 2nd vid for that. 1/2 pic.twitter.com/Sl0WktooNx
— Your Favorite Scientist From The Hood (@RichmondLyfe) June 24, 2020
A San Francisco man found himself blocked from entering his own apartment complex parking garage by a couple who was caught on camera and later seen what appears to be assaulting a bystander who jumped in to help.
Michael Barajas, a Berkeley graduate and community educator for a biopharmaceutical company, says he used his remote to open the garage door to the SOMA Residences where he lives on Tuesday evening after coming home from buying fruit.
A white SUV with Florida plates pulled in ahead of him and, instead of proceeding forward, stopped at the entrance of one of the building’s garages and stopped Michael from going inside.
“His immediate reaction was ‘hey you f**king criminal, you’re not coming in here.””
Barajas says he was clad in black and his tattoos were showing. He thinks perhaps when he leaned his head out of the window to see what was the matter, the driver and passenger, identified as William Beasley, decided he was a threat based off of his appearance.
You can hear a man shouting in part of the video.
“You don’t have a right to come in here!”
See news video ABCTV7:
Beasley is heard asking Barajas where his key fob is. Despite saying he has one, the man escalates the situation to the point where bystanders can be heard jumping in to help.
“Dude, pull into your space and go!” says the bystander.
Barajas says the event played out for about 20 minutes where he, at one point, feared for his safety.
“He actually threatened to shoot us if we continued to engage in conversation!”
Eventually, one of the bystanders, who smacked the man’s car yelling for him to move, is seen getting knocked to the ground.
“You don’t touch my car bro!” yells Beasley, who continues, “I’m protecting my f**king place!”
SOMA Residences sent ABC7 News a statement saying, in part, they’re “actively working to resolve” the issue and condemn “violent acts, aggression toward any residents, discrimination and harassment.”
While they couldn’t comment on the incident citing “tenant rights and privacy,” ABC7 News photographer James Mann noticed the couple, who appeared to be loading up a car with belongings, and asked for their side of the story.
Beasley says, “I talked to them and asked them nicely.”
“Well, he lives here,” Mann replied.
The woman with Beasley, who was driving the white SUV in the video chimed in, “He didn’t know that.”
Beasley went on to say “he should have used his fob.”
When James pressed Beasley on accusations on social media of racial profiling, the response turned tense.
“Completely not true, why are you attacking me?” said Beasley.
APEX Systems, where the Beasley was employed, issued a statement saying they conducted an internal review and “made the decision to terminate the employee” and that they will not “tolerate violent of racist behavior.”
As for Barajas, who is satisfied with his building’s response to the incident, says he is grateful for those who tried to intervene and is proud of how far he’s come.
“I’ve always been from a really poor, poor immigrant family, so I think what happened just struck very hard for me. I felt, for me, that I do not belong here.”
He also says he feels empowered by the responsibility to speak out for minorities who may not feel like they have a voice.
“Had that happened to someone who is undocumented and didn’t know how to handle the situation and had been violent in return? What would’ve happened?”
The bystander who was knocked to the ground after intervening did not want to press charges.
“Why are you attacking me?” This is the response from the man who some are calling “racist” after he yelled at a Latino man and tried to keep him from entering his own #SanFrancisco apartment. https://t.co/jCGDd26IAq pic.twitter.com/gM4g00SoS3
— ABC7 News (@abc7newsbayarea) June 26, 2020