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WATCH: Racial Profiling Costs Male “Karen” His Lease

Videos of people using racial profiling as a reason to call police, or to directly confront, threaten, or attack, have been going viral more and more since a significant portion of the population now has with them at all times a device capable of recording video. Sometimes, these have consequences for the profiler, such as in the case of Tom Austin. Austin accosted a group of black men in the gym provided to tenants of the building where his company, F2 Group, holds a lease. He began to demand information from them, and called the building manager. Now his company’s lease has been terminated.

racial profiling lost lease
[Image via Twitter/@anisalrh]

According to The Hill, Tom Austin is a managing partner of F2 Group, and the men he confronted are members of the team at Top Figure, which also holds office space in the building. In a video shared on social media, he introduces himself, demands to know whether the young men have a lease in the building, and calls to report that there are people in the gym who “don’t appear to be part of” — well, something. He breaks off his sentence without finishing, but whether it’s the community, the gym, or something else that he thinks the men aren’t “part of,” he clearly states that he’s basing this on appearance.

Austin later said he’d handled the situation incorrectly, but claimed that his reasoning for accosting the young men was that only one of them had used a key fob, and they had come into the building together — as opposed to shutting the door in between members of a group arriving together, and having each individual let himself in, perhaps.

Top Figure also posted the encounter on their Instagram page, saying, “Normally we don’t speak out about encounters of racial profiling and age discrimination that we face day to day in our lives as young black entrepreneurs.” However, they said, “As we were working out this man approached and immediately asked us who we were and if “WE BELONG” in this building. Granted in order to enter the building you NEED a key card to enter EVERY part of the building which EACH of our team members individually have. We all pay rent here and this man demanded that we show him our key cards or he will call the cops on us. We are sick and tired of tolerating this type of behavior on a day to day basis and we feel that we had to bring light onto this situation.”

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Normally we don’t speak out about encounters of racial profiling and age discrimination that we face day to day in our lives as young black entrepreneurs. Although today May 26th 2020 7:51pm we encountered a situation where a man entered the facility, a shared private gym that we utilize in our @wework @mozaic_east office located in uptown Minnesota. Granted we’ve been in this office space and have rented and grown our business for the past 1 year and half here. As we were working out this man approached and immediately asked us who we were and if “WE BELONG” in this building. Granted in order to enter the building you NEED a key card to enter EVERY part of the building which EACH of our team members individually have. We all pay rent here and this man demanded that we show him our key cards or he will call the cops on us. We are sick and tired of tolerating this type of behavior on a day to day basis and we feel that we had to bring light onto this situation.

A post shared by Top Figure 🛩 (@teamtopfigure) on

In fact, according to Washington Post, Stuart Ackerberg, CEO of Ackerberg Group, which owns the building, says that at least two of the young men used their key fobs to enter the building’s gym area, and that he has no reason to assume the others weren’t also Top Figure employees.

F2 Group’s ease in the building has been terminated as a result of the encounter.



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