A video has gone viral in which a man continuously harasses a Brooklyn coffee shop employee for having a Black Lives Matter sign in the window. The video was first posted in its entirety on Reddit, and then a short portion of it was reposted to Twitter, where it went viral.
In the video, the man, who is holding up the line and not wearing a mask, says he's not going anywhere until she takes down the sign, which she refuses to do. The employee and other customers in line try to tell him that he can just leave if he's uncomfortable, but he won't budge.
"This is offensive and it needs to get off," he says while pointing to the Black Lives Matter sign in the window of Burly Coffee in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn, NY. "I want you to take off the sign because it's offensive to me," he continues.
The employee behind the counter repeatedly refuses to take the sign down and tells him to leave if he's uncomfortable. Eventually, other people in line, some of whom were filming, also start telling the man to leave.
"You need to leave because you're causing problems," says the person in line behind him. "I don't understand why it is so offensive to you to see something saying that Black lives matter," the coffee shop employee says. "It is not saying that all lives don't matter. It's just saying that Black lives matter because they haven't mattered in this country ever."
Both the man complaining and the coffee shop employee are filming the encounter. The video that was uploaded to Reddit was taken by someone who was in line for the coffee shop.
The entire video lasts for more than 10 minutes. At one point, the person filming, who has identified himself as Rohan Singh, approaches the window and says he would like to make a purchase. He asks if the man complaining can move out of the way, but he refuses.
"Why does it say Black Lives Matter and not All Lives Matter?" he asks. He continues to attack the coffee shop employee, tries to spew "facts" about American history, and starts chanting, "All Lives Matter" by himself.
He continues to claim that he's "making a protest" and that he's allowed to harass the employee. When the video cuts out at 10 minutes and 59 seconds, he's still standing there and refusing to move.
In a comment on his Reddit post, Rohan wrote, "He spouted his bulls--t for over 15 minutes before the barista finally closed the shop and he walked away." That's what it took for him to move along.
Since a portion of the video was been posted on Twitter by @AIRSTEVEJOBS, it has amassed over 12,000 retweets, nearly 23,000 likes, and thousands of comments.
"'All lives matter,' he says while not wearing a mask during a pandemic," one person wrote. "Why is it hard to wrap your head around the concept that businesses are private properties and can enforce rules as they see fit?" another person commented. "Also, wearing a mask is really NBD and the right thing to do."
Rohan posted the last couple of minutes of the encounter on YouTube. In it, the barista attempts to shut the door to the shop and close up to stop this man from yelling All Lives Matter nonsense. But he won't move his foot out of the way. After a stand-off, he backs up and walks away quickly.
Gothamist reports that the man staging the "protest" is Abraham "Avrumy" Knofler, a pro-Trumper who also refers to COVID-19 as a hoax. Speaking with Gothamist, Rohan said that while it was a nonviolent encounter, "It was a horrible situation for the barista who was trapped there. I feel really bad for her."