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Popular Detroit Sports Bar Faces Backlash Over Owner's Tulsa Shooting Commentary

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“Listen to police who have guns pointed at you and don’t get shot.”

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Bookies Bar & Grille
Bookies Bar & Grille
Jason Pelc/Flickr
Brenna Houck is a Cities Manager for the Eater network. She previously edited Eater Detroit and reported for Eater. You can follow her on the internet at @brennahouck.

The co-owner of Bookies Bar & Grille in downtown Detroit is facing public backlash after he posted harsh comments to Facebook regarding the death of an unarmed black man who was shot by police in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on Friday. As BLAC Detroit first-reported, the statements were shared below a video of the Tulsa incident, which depicts 40-year-old Terence Crutcher approaching his disabled vehicle followed by two officers — one who deploys a stun gun while another fatally shoots Crutcher. In response to the article, Mark Jerant of Bookies writes:

Do you mean the unarmed man Who didn't listen to police....... Again.

The one who continued to resist by waking away from the police .... Again.

The one who continued to walk away with his hands up, and proceeded to disobey more orders all the way back to his vehicle.

Tthen [sic] put his hands down continued to disobey orders and then reached into the open widow of car? That unarmed man? That one that simply didn't listen ....... Again.

Get ready for the liberal media frenzy of BS. Then the audio will come out, then everyone will say he didn't listen, then after a false narrative for 3 months by BLM and "rioting peaceful protests" everyone will say ohhh I guess he was wrong, and the police were right? Then after a real investigation the truth comes out?

Simple story never changes. Listen to police who have guns pointed at you and don't get shot. It isn't hard.

Here we go again. "Hands up" until they aren't anymore. The media will cut video then, just wait until mainstream plays the clip. CNN we are ready for your half story !!! They will ignore everything else. Clicks and ads it's always about money not the truth. watch and see.

The individual who shared the video, David Gray, took screenshots of Jerant’s comments and his personal page that identifies him as the owner of Bookies (it’s since been deleted) and posted them to Facebook around 9 a.m. this morning with the message, “Please share so people know who you're spending your money with!!!!” The posting have since been shared more than 200 times.

Screenshot taken by David Gray Facebook/David Gray
Facebook/David Gray
Facebook/David Gray

Bookies’ Facebook page also appears to have been disabled, although it’s not clear when this occurred. Meanwhile, the Yelp Cleanup Crew, which handles mass negative Yelp reviews, probably isn't far off. The bar’s Yelp page is taking a hit with a series of one-star reviews posted today including screenshots of Jerant’s remarks. “The owner is a racist and a disgusting human being. He said an unarmed black man deserved to be murdered. #TerenceCrutcher,” writes Kia C. “Will not be spending my money here knowing that the owner posts on his personal social media accounts that black men deserve to be shot for ‘disobeying’ police orders,” says another reviewer Mia M.

Screenshot of negative Yelp reviews shared on Bookies Bar & Grille’s page.
A screenshot of negative Yelp reviews shared on Bookies Bar & Grille’s page.

David Gray has since followed up his post regarding Bookies with kinder words for Jerant’s business partner Jay Lambrecht who he writes, “doesn't share he [sic] same sentiments as his business partner. In fact one of the things that Jay loves is the diversity that Bookies brings to Detroit.” Still, the damage may already be done.

Social media can be a double edged sword for restaurant owners, even if they reserve their opinions to private accounts. Detroit BBQ Company owner Tim Idzikowski found himself in the midst of a PR nightmare after he wrote several negative statements on Facebook in 2014 about New York police officers who were shot to death.

UPDATE, 9/21: Jerant issued an apology that can be read here.

UPDATE, 9/22: Bookies Bar & Grille has severed ties with Jerant.

Bookies Bar & Grille Co-Owner on Tulsa Shooting: 'Listen to Police...and Don't Get Shot' [BLAC Detroit]

All Controversies Coverage [ED]

Bookies Bar & Grille

2208 Cass Avenue, , MI 48201 (313) 962-0319 Visit Website