White Hotel Manager Fired After Pulling Gun On Four Black FAMU Students Inside Campus Complex
A white hotel manager was fired from his job on Tuesday after an account of his interaction with four Black college students in Tallahassee, Florida went viral over the weekend.
The interaction was posted to Twitter by Isiah Butterfield, a student at Florida A&M University. Butterfield, along with three of his friends were getting ready to enter Stadium Centre, an apartment complex for students, when they were stopped by Don Crandall on September 8, according to the school’s official paper.
“These are the kind of people that are burning Nike products, we are sick of the discrimination,” Butterfield wrote. “Never thought I’d have a personal experience with racism like this, this man pulled a gun on us because we were walking up tony friends apartment w/o a key.”
In the video, Crandall questions the group about their whereabouts and they inform him they are there to visit a friend who was hosting a party in the building.
According to the group, Crandall told them they weren’t getting in because they did not have a key, opened the entry door and went inside. In the video, you can see one of the group’s white classmates try to intervene on their behalf.
One of the students caught the door before it closed, and that is where the tense encounter began in front of the building elevator.
“Find another elevator, you can’t get in this one,” Crandall says while he bars the elevator.
“Why not? Do you own the building?” one of the students asks in return.
“Because you don’t belong in this building,” he replied, before adding, “You ain’t got a key for the building, you don’t belong in the elevator.”
As the group proceeds to enter the elevator, Crandall brandishes his weapon in his hand. “Sir, you bring out your gun. What’s your purpose for that?” one of the students asked.
“Oh, I’m sorry. Excuse me. Forgive me,” he says once he realizes the students noticed his weapon.
The video ends as the student’s question Crandall about his motives, while also noting on how often situations like this end up in deadly confrontation.
“Once we found out he had the gun, it turned into a whole different situation,” Butterfield said in an interview with ABC News. “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.
After Crandall’s identity was exposed, his employer the Pax Hotel Group, which manages The Baymont by Wyndham of Tallahassee Central, issued a statement on Instagram notifying the public of his termination.
“Pax Hotel Group believes in bringing up and adding to the communities we are a part of. Our team has gone ahead and took the actions that were necessary to uphold our beliefs,” the statement reads.
Many have commented on the stark age difference between Crandall and the students, alleging Crandall is married and was visiting a woman who lives inside the building.
According to ABC News, the Tallahassee Police Department is currently investigating under Florida’s statute of aggravated assault with deadly weapon without intent to kill.
“Our students’ safety is our first priority. The Tallahassee Police Department (TPD) is investigating the matter; therefore, FAMU cannot disclose additional details,” FAMU said in a statement to ABC News.