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Man harasses Brooklyn coffee shop employee over Black Lives Matter window sign for 10+ minutes

Posted at 12:18 PM, Jun 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-19 12:58:31-04

Warning: Video above may contain strong language.

BEDFORD-STUYVESANT, Brooklyn — Video of a man without a mask harassing an employee at a Brooklyn coffee shop for having a Black Lives Matter sign in their window has gone viral, with the employee at the private business the subject of his rant for more than 10 minutes.

The man, seemingly recording a video of his own, said the sign is offensive to him and "is the most racist thing out there."

Both the employee and bystanders tell the man to walk away, though he refuses. They appear clearly distressed, though the man does not relent.

"This sign caused the whole problem," he said, referring to the aggressive sidewalk encounter.

"No, you caused the whole problem," the employee responded.

The Burly Coffee location is at 90 Kosciuzsko St. in Bed-Stuy. It also serves as a bookstore.

The employee goes on to describe the response most supporters of the current movement against racial injustice have for those that express offense to the phrase "Black lives matter."

"It's not saying that all lives don't matter," she said," it's just saying the black lives matter because they haven't mattered in this country," referring to a history of notable extrajudicial killings of Black men and women by police officers.

Above the sign in question is another sign — "NO MASK NO SERVICE."

The man is not wearing a mask while he stands at the service window, face to face with the employee, who is wearing a mask, and later with other individuals on the sidewalk.

"I'm not talking to you anymore until you take down the sign," he said. He then blocks customers from trying to place orders, demanding the sign be taken off.

The video, posting on YouTube by Rohan Singh, lasts more than 10 minutes, with the man claiming to "protest" in front of the counter.

The video ends before an apparent resolution to the situation.

Burly Coffee responded on Facebook Thursday.

"We strongly stand with Black Lives Matter and applaud our staff for standing up to the blinding hate that has appeared at our door," the statement read. "Unfortunately, this was not an isolated incident with this person and our priority continues to be the safety and well-being of our staff.

"We are overwhelmed by the generous support of our staff via our Venmo Tip Jar (@Burly-Coffee-TipJar). The baristas that experienced this hatred will receive the tips directly. Burly will be making a contribution in support of the community we love and are thankful to be a part of," it continued.

Protests have taken over the nation for weeks, including in New York, following the death of George Floyd.

Floyd, a Black man, was killed at the hands of White police officers in Minneapolis on May 25.

All four of the officers at the scene were fired, and all four faces charges; one of the officers whose knee was on Floyd's neck for more than 8 minutes faces murder charges.