A YouTube employee was filmed calling police on a black man visiting a friend at a San Francisco condo building last week, after the employee suspected the man of trespassing. As the employee made the call his young son cried and urged him to stop.
In video posted to Facebook on July 4 by Wesly Michel, the man in the footage, identified as Christopher Cukor, is seen asking Michel to dial his friend on the callbox outside a residential building on Van Ness Avenue. When Michel refuses, Cukor takes out his phone and calls 911 as his son says, "Daddy, don't, don't, don't."
Michel, who works as a software engineer at Dictionary.com, according to his LinkedIn profile, tells Cukor in the video he's "going to be the next person on TV," a reference to a series of recent incidents in which white people have called the police on people of color for going about their lives.
"You don't need to threaten me you just need to get out of the building," Cukor replies to Michel.
As Cukor talks to dispatchers, his son pleads with him to stop.
"I don't like this. I don't like this," the child says as he begins to cry. "Daddy, I don't like this let's go."
"He said he's here for a friend. He said he's waiting for a friend and I asked him to dial on the callbox and he said he would not," Cukor tells police. "I'd have no way to know if his friend is actually here."
"Yeah so I'm here to just rob whatever," Michel says sarcastically.
Cukor then says to Michel that all he's asking for is his friend's name.
"I don't have to tell you shit," Michel responds. "Listen to your son, walk away. I will stop this."
About 20 seconds later, Michel's friend appears.
"Daddy look what you've gotten us into let's go," Cukor's son says.
Cukor, who works in device partnerships at YouTube, according to his Linkedin profile, wrote in a Medium post on Tuesday that when he was leaving his building when he noticed Michel catch the door and enter the building without using the callbox.
"I did what came naturally and asked where he was going," Cukor wrote. "I want to be clear on this point, this is something I do regularly, regardless of who the other person is."
He went on to explain that his father was killed by a trespasser he confronted alone and "felt it was necessary" to call law enforcement when he encountered Michel.
"Furthermore, I’ve encountered trespassers in my building and we’ve been robbed several times," Cukor continued. "This is not uncommon in San Francisco and the bad actors are all different colors."
He concluded the post by apologizing to Michel, saying "I’m sorry my actions caused Welsy [sic] to feel unfairly targeted due to his race."
Michel and a YouTube spokesperson did not immediately respond to BuzzFeed News requests for comment.
In an interview Tuesday night, CNN anchor Don Lemon told Michel that had he been in Cukor's situation he isn't sure that he would have let Michel in.
"I don't know if I would let anybody in the building if they weren't buzzed in," Lemon said. "I would have said who are you here to see, can I call them or do you mind waiting outside."
Michel said he would have been more than happy to just wait outside, but he felt he needed to record the interaction because Cukor was calling the police.
"To me that’s a death threat," Michel said. "I could literally die from that altercation and I would simply be another hashtag."