James Juanillo was just showing his support for the Black Lives Matter movement, stenciling the rallying cry in chalk on to the front retaining wall of his property.
However, a white couple apparently couldn’t mind their own business, confronting Juanillo, who is Filipino, and claiming to know the person who lives there personally.
“A white couple call the police on me, a person of color, for stencilling a #BLM chalk message on my own front retaining wall,” Juanillo tweeted. “‘Karen’ lies and says she knows that I don’t live in my own house, because she knows the person who lives here.”
The video begins with the woman, later identified as Lisa Alexander according to ABC7News, asking Juanillo if the property is his.
“Why are you asking?” Juanillo responds.
“Because it’s private property, so are you defacing private property or is this your building?” the man with Alexander, identified only as “Robert” chimed in.
“You’re free to express your opinions, but not on people’s property,” the man added.
“If I did live here and it was my property, this would be absolutely fine?” Juanillo questions. “And you don’t know if I live here or if this is my property.”
That was when the couple insisted that they actually knew who owns the property in question.
Juanillo challenges the couple to call the police since they were accusing him of a crime.
There was some back and forth before the couple eventually left.
Juanillo told KRON4 that he has lived in that home since 2002.
Alexander apparently did actually call the cops, Juanillo told the news station, and some officers did respond. However, since Juanillo has lived in the area for so long and did recognize the responding officers, the interaction went smoothly and the cops never even got out of their vehicle.
However, things didn’t go over as smoothly for Alexander or the man who was later identified as her husband, Robert Larkin.
Alexander issued a public apology on Sunday in a statement that read, “The last 48 hours has taught me that my actions were those of someone who is not aware of the damage caused by being ignorant and naive to racial inequalities. When I watch the video I am shocked and sad that I behaved the way I did. It was disrespectful to Mr. Juanillo and I am deeply sorry for that.”
It turns out Alexander is the CEO of LAFACE Skincare, something which users quickly called out, ABC7 reports. This prompted Birchbox, a makeup subscription service, to release its own statement noting that it will no longer be working with the brand.
As for Larkin, he was fired from his job at Raymond James wealth management firm on Monday, KRON4 reports.
“Raymond James has zero tolerance for racism and discrimination of any kind,” the company said in a statement. “After an investigation into the circumstances of a video alleging racism by one of our associates, we have concluded that the actions of he and his partner were inconsistent with our values, and the associate is no longer employed by Raymond James.”