Viral video shows child begging father not to call police on black man in lobby
A viral video shared on Facebook last week showed a young child crying and begging his father not to call the police on an African American man who said he was waiting for a friend on the ground floor of an apartment building.
Wesly Michel, a software engineer, shared the 3 1/2-minute video of his Fourth of July encounter with the boy and his father in San Francisco.
Michel tells the man he is waiting to meet his friend and the father, who appears to be white and has not been identified, demands Michel call “your friend on the call box and have them come down and get you.”
Michel declines, prompting the man to take out his phone and call the police, despite the protests of his son. The clip had been viewed over 1.3 million times as of Tuesday morning.
“You’re just going to be the next person on TV,” Michel says in the video, referring to the past examples of African Americans having the police called on them for things such as waiting in a Starbucks. “Just remember that. Just remember that, and you have your son with you.”
The son can be heard saying “Dad don’t, please go” as he begins what appears to be a call with the police. The man later describes Michel as a “trespasser” who “tailgated” into the apartment building.
“I don’t like this, daddy I don’t like this. Let’s go,” the boy says as his father begins to describing what Michel is wearing.
Michel’s friend appears later in the video, leading the boy to say, “Told you. Let’s go now. Daddy, look what you’ve gotten us into. Let’s go.”
The man proceeds to ask the resident for confirmation on whether Michel is indeed her friend. The man can be heard saying on the phone, “he’s actually here with a resident,” before ending the call.
Michel confronts the man near the end of the video, stating “now you’re going to be online forever,” as he films a close-up of the man’s face.
Michel said in a statement to CNN that the “incident mirrors the experience that African Americans endure daily where we are questioned on whether we belong.”
“I videotaped this incident to protect myself and to support my story should police get involved,” he said.
Police did not appear to arrive at the scene.