A PHILADELPHIA bar owner was captured on camera pulling a gun out at a black man over a row over social distancing at a restaurant.
A black cyclist stopped by Nick’s Roast Beef restaurant on Sunday and was locking up his bike when he verbally shamed the customers who were dining outside.
“Social distancing! No one is wearing a mask!”, the man yelled out, according to witness Liz Krieger, who spoke to the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Patrons began shouting back, telling the man to go away, when one of the customers, who was identified by the paper as Jamie Atlig, who owns Infusion Lounge in the city, stood up and pointed a gun at the man.
The black man yelled “MAGA privilege” at Atlig, who shouted back, “Trump 2020!” Krieger recalled.
After Atlig pulled out his gun, one woman tells him to “put it the f**k away”, while another tried to shield the black man.
A video of the encounter was posted on Twitter by DJ Torney, an intern of Philadelphia City Councilmember Isaiah Thomas, who then retweeted the footage with the comment: “After a weekend of too much gun violence, more guns is not the answer.”
Robert Gamburg, a lawyer for Atlig, told the Inquirer his client is licensed to carry a gun and took it out after the man “reached behind his back for an object” – which was the lock for his bicycle.
“He’s a business owner and he was being threatened,” Gamburg said.
“Mr. Atlig unholstered his licensed firearm, defused the situation, and sat back down.”
But Krieger insisted the bike lock was not in view before Atlig brandished his weapon.
“This is how Black people are shot and it’s claimed later that he had a bike lock on him and people thought it was a gun,” she said. “But let’s be clear: The bike lock was never pulled out [until after the gun was].”
Philadelphia police are investigating the incident.
A police spokesperson, Eric McLaurin, said on Monday afternoon that it’s “a very active investigation at this point.”
Krieger added police arrived shortly afterward but did not take a report because the victim had already left.
“The Black man doesn’t need to be killed for this to be a story,” she said.
“A man had a gun pulled on him for speaking the truth. We weren’t social distancing. He was completely in the right to be yelling at us.”