The co-owner of Bookies Bar & Grille in downtown Detroit issued an apology late Tuesday evening expressing “embarrassment and regret” for his viral Facebook rant regarding the police shooting death of an unarmed black man in Tulsa. “I want to express my deepest condolences and apology,” writes Mark Jerant, “to the family of Terence Crutcher and the Tulsa, Oklahoma, community for my comments on Facebook that may be viewed as hurtful or insensitive regarding the real tension that existed between African Americans and police officers across our country.”
Jerant’s comments have incited anger among members of the Detroit community and individuals across the country, with some calling for a boycott of his popular sports bar. Both Bookies’ and Jerant’s Facebook pages have been taken down. On Tuesday, Yelp’s cleanup crew also took over Bookies’ business page blocking any further reviews, good or bad, from being posted.
The individual who initially shared screenshots of Jerant’s statements on Facebook, later shared an update asking his friend and followers to be considerate of Jerant’s business partner Jay Lambrecht who he wrote, “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.” Jerant, too, says his “do not reflect my business, partnerships and staff.” Read Jerant’s full apology letter below:
I want to express my deepest condolences and apology to the family of Terence Crutcher and the Tulsa, Oklahoma community for my comments on Facebook that may be viewed as hurtful or insensitive regarding the real tension that existed between African Americans and police officers across our country. I understand that my candid comments regarding policing has had a negative effect.
My comments were in response to a spirited discussion I was having with my African American friend from high school of more than 18 years. He and I have had open and frank conversations regarding current affairs, politics, race, inequality and social justice. It’s common place for my friend and I to have candid exchanges on social media on issues and opinions that affect us both.
I am embarrassed and regret the tone and tenor of my comments, as written words often lose inflection. I was expressing thoughts that reflect, in some measure, the sentiments that have been shared by my African American friends, that unfortunately the best way when confronted by police offices is to follow their every command to avoid a fatal confrontation. It should not be the case that African Americans should fear for their safety when engaged by law enforcement. These are tragedies which need to end.
My comments in no way were intended to be disrespectful to Terence Crutcher, his actions or events that let to him being shot by Tulsa Police. I was expressing my concerns over once again seeing in the media another unarmed African American confronted by police officers that ended in death. This is an all too often occurrence and it needs to stop.
I apologize for the insensitive manner in which my comments appeared on Facebook. My statements are my own and do not reflect my business, partnerships and staff at Bookies Bar & Grille.
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