Another day, another instance of needless and unprovoked discrimination against people of color who have done absolutely nothing wrong. In Tallahassee, Florida, Isaiah Butterfield and three of his friends were waiting outside an apartment building for their friend, who was having a party inside, to come let them in. While they were standing, minding their own business, a white man, identified by the internet as Don Crandall, told them they weren't going to get inside the building, went inside, and locked the door behind him. He would later return, holding a gun, and refuse to let them enter "his" elevator.
Butterfield captured much of their second exchange with Crandall on video, and posted it to Twitter with this caption:
...We are sick of the discrimination. Never thought I'd have a personal experience with racism like this...
These are the kind of people that are burning Nike products , we are sick of the discrimination 🗣 never thought I’d… https://t.co/LVYbl5kx48— zay❕ (@zay❕)1536420237.0
The video quickly went viral, prompting the Tallahassee police department to take notice. Crandall is now under investigation for possible breach of "Florida's statute of aggravated assault with deadly weapon without intent to kill."
The group's first encounter with Crandall was more confusing than anything else—he approached them while they were waiting outside the door and, without any provocation, told them they weren't going to get inside the building before making a point of locking the door.
Butterfield was perplexed:
We were just sitting there confused, like why did he even say anything to us?
When Crandall returned to make sure his point was understood, Butterfield began recording. At this point, Butterfield and his friends were joined by a supportive white resident of the building who told Crandall to "keep walking" and "just go about your day." The white resident and Crandall begin exchanging insults with each other as the entire group enters the building.
When they make it to the elevator, however, Crandall refuses to let any of them enter:
Find another elevator, you can't get in this one.
When asked "Why not? Do you own the building?" Crandall responded:
Because you don't belong in this building. You ain't got a key for the building, you don't belong in the elevator.
Stadium Centre, the apartment complex where the incident took place, claims Crandall is not a resident and released this statement:
We are aware of the video posted on social media over the weekend and reported this incident immediately to the police. Firearms are strictly prohibited on our property and we take this matter very seriously. We are cooperating with the police during their investigation and it has been determined that the person in the elevator is not a resident. Moreover, we are firmly committed to fostering a diverse residential community that is inclusive and welcoming to all.
While Crandall was barring them from the elevator, Butterfield and his friends noticed he was holding a gun. One of them asked:
Sir, you bring out your gun. What's your purpose for that?
Butterfield later said the presence of a firearm drastically changed the tone of the ordeal:
Once we found out he had the gun, it turned into a whole different situation. We really think he was trying to provoke us to the point where it got violent so he could retaliate with the gun. I knew that if this dude even feels threatened, he's going to find any excuse to pull the trigger.
Crandall was the general manager of a local hotel, Baymont by Wyndham, but following the events of the viral video, the hotel released a statement saying he was no longer employed by the company:
The man you are talking about is no longer employed with us and does not represent the values of our company and how others should be treated.
Twitter was glad some justice had been served:
This piece of crap in the video is Don Crandall. He WAS the GM of a hotel. He has been fired. This ain’t 1960s Amer… https://t.co/qEfJzh1Qs6— rolandsmartin (@rolandsmartin)1536752165.0
Don Crandall has been fired!!! I repeat, #DonCrandall has been fired! Yaaaaasssss!!!! I love me some #BlackTwitter!… https://t.co/vmig4m0XhZ— Annette Williams ♊️ (@Annette Williams ♊️)1536630160.0
Don Crandall is no longer a manager or employed at the Baymont hotel. I know for a fact he was sick Monday morning— TrapLordVegeta (@TrapLordVegeta)1536623721.0
@TheRickyDavila I hope he never gets another job. https://t.co/Hic1UsepM8— AllisonFromThe401 (@AllisonFromThe401)1536720308.0
@sahluwal @rolandsmartin He is Don Crandall, he was fired yesterday and he was caught cheating on his wife.— Resist! (@Resist!)1536732175.0
@TheRickyDavila @lilsliceofcraze Even more bizarre is the fact that the guy wasn’t a resident of that building https://t.co/eWNr2xFZFF— Vivian Vacca (@Vivian Vacca)1536721331.0
The hotel later elaborated on Instagram:
Crandall is seeing consequences for his actions. Nearby Florida A&M released this statement:
Florida A&M University (FAMU) learned that on Saturday, Sept. 8, at least one FAMU student was the alleged victim of an off-campus incident, which was captured on camera. Our students' safety is our first priority. The Tallahassee Police Department (TPD) is investigating the matter; therefore, FAMU cannot disclose additional details. The University will provide assistance as it is requested by TPD. For more information, please contact TPD's Public Information Office at (850) 891-4255.
Discrimination has no place in civilized society, and it seems Crandall is learning that the hard way.