Bookies backlash after co-owner writes controversial police shooting post

- A downtown bar owner makes a controversial post on social media about the Tulsa police shooting of an unarmed black man.

Now some are calling for a ban on his business.

The co-owner of Bookies Bar and Grill said in so many words that if Terence Crutcher had listened to police - had he not walked away from them, he would be alive today. He has since apologized for that comment but the damage may already be done.

Mark Jerant chimed in on a friend's Facebook post about Tulsa police shooting and killing Crutcher, an unarmed black man, saying in part "Listen to police who have guns pointed at you and don't get shot. it isn't hard."

"It has been proven factually that you can be killed even if you are following the directions of the police officer, even if you've committed no crime," said Rachel Lutz, a Detroit business owner.

FOX 2 talked with Detroit business owners about the comment and now the backlash --- many black Detroiters are vowing to boycott Bookies

"Absolutely, I will absolutely boycott Bookies," said one black Detroiter.

"If you are in a community and you are taking dollars out of that community, you should really be able to at least empathize with the problems that they face," said Eric Thomas, a Detroit business owner.

The co-owner of Bookies said disagrees with his partner.

"His comments are not part of my views (and) are not part of Bookies bar and grills' views," said Jay Lambrecht.

Lambrecht is doing damage control for his business and his partner.

"The success of this bar as many of our patrons know, we're probably one of the most diverse bars in this city and that's been our success and that's what sets us apart from everybody else," Lambrecht said. "I've known Mark for a lot of years, we went to high school together, we carpooled together and I really, sincerely don't think there was any malice there."

Mark Jerant apologized for the tone and tenor of his comments saying they were part of spirited discussion with an African-American friend of more than 18 years.

Even so, his mea culpa may fall on deaf ears.

Brooke Lauren writes: "Do not go to bookies! I don't care if they retract or later apologize. their initial post reflects their true feelings."

FOX 2: "What do you say to those skeptical?"

"Actions speak louder than words," said Lambrecht. "We'll just do our best to get back in people's good graces the best we can."

Jerant released a statement and apology that says in part: "I want to express my deepest condolences and apology to the family of Terence Crutcher and the Tulsa, Oklahoma community for my comments on Facebook that may be viewed as hurtful or insensitive regarding the real tension that existed between African-Americans and police officers across our country. I understand that my candid comments regarding policing has had a negative effect."

He went on to say the comments were not written on Bookies' Facebook page but in response to a friend's Facebook post.

The African-American Detroit man who said he would be boycotting added that it should not last forever, but that those who are not patronizing the business should come up with a list of demands of what they would like to see happen.
 

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