A white couple who called the cops on a man of color after accusing him of vandalizing his own house has learned their lesson the hard way.
James Juanillo was stenciling “Black Lives Matter” in chalk on the wall outside of his house in San Francisco when he was approached by a couple later identified as Lisa and Robert Alexander who demanded to know what he was doing.
After Juaniilo turned the camera on them, Lisa can be heard asking if it’s his property.
“It’s private property,” Robert adds. “So, are you defacing private property or is this your building? You’re free to express your opinions, just not on people’s property.”
The two continue to condescend to Juanillo as he points out that they have no idea whether he lives there or not.
“We actually do know, that’s why we’re asking,” Lisa insists. “Because we know the person who does live here.”
As she is obviously accusing him of committing a crime, Juanillo suggests Lisa call the cops, which he says she ultimately did.
But when the police showed up, Juanillo didn’t face the repercussions Lisa hoped for.
“The police came and recognized me immediately as a resident of the house and left without getting out of their patrol car,” Juanillo said. “I didn’t even show them my ID.”
In fact, he’s lived in the house he was accused of vandalizing for 18 years. While he rents and doesn’t own the building himself, co-owners John Newmeyer and Brad Gilbertson each confirmed they didn’t know Lisa despite her claims.
“This is the kind of assumption that’s a subtle racism,” Newmeyer said of Lisa and Robert’s behavior. “I mean, it’s not that vicious but still shows us a lot about how far we have to go. Don’t assume just because someone is a person of color he doesn’t belong.”
Reactions of folks online were also in support of Juanillo.
The couple only identified themselves by first name, but internet sleuths did the rest.
It didn’t take long for them to figure out that the woman in the video is Lisa Alexander, CEO of skincare company LaFace.
Lisa’s products have already been pulled from makeup and skincare subscription service Birchbox after her actions were brought to the company’s attention.
Lisa offered up an apology after the video went viral and she was identified.
“I did not realize at the time that my actions were racist and have learned a painful lesson,” she wrote, adding that she should have minded her own business.