SFPD Gourmanade incident police body-cam video released

- Outside his gourmet lemonade stand on Valencia Street in San Francisco's Mission District on Monday, strangers were coming up to owner Viktor Stevenson offering support.

For Stevenson, this is the bright side of an ugly incident where he was an apparent victim of owning a business while black.

"It hurts. I worked my butt off to make this happen," Stevenson said of his business called Gourmonade.

Early last Tuesday morning Stevenson says he was checking the alarm system at the kiosk where he sells high-end lemonade.

Suddenly four police officers showed up..they were responding to a 911 caller reporting  a store burglary.

"I think that's what they saw, a black man in a ski coat and hat. That's not suspicious to me," said Stevenson.

Police released the officers' body worn camera video of the encounter. They asked Stevenson to show his identification and prove he belonged there, that he was the owner not a burglar.

"They said someone said you were breaking into the business. I laughed. And said this is my business," he said.

But otherwise the video shows, and Stevenson confirms, the officers acted professionally.

"It was respectful," he said.

Police issued a statement that read: "We have no say over who requests our services. We believe our officers responded appropriately."   

This follows other incidents such as Permit Patty where a white woman called police on an African American girl selling water, and Barbeque Becky where  police were called because a black man was grilling in an Oakland park.

While Gourmanade was closed today people in the neighborhood came by to offer encouragement to Stevenson.

"I just don't get the fear people are living under. It's heart breaking. Heart breaking," said Kyle Ozier, an architect in San Francisco.

"I just wish the peron before they made the call, just look a little longer," said Stevenson.
 

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