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Man loses office lease after viral video shows him calling police on black entrepreneurs using building’s gym

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A white Minneapolis venture capitalist’s office lease was terminated after a viral video showed him questioning black entrepreneurs using the gym in a building of which they were all tenants, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported Wednesday.

Tom Austin, the managing partner of F2 Group, threatened to call the police on the group of black men on Tuesday. The men are the owners of Top Figure, a Minneapolis-based social media and branding agency. They work out of a WeWork coworking space in the building and are allowed to use the amenities. 

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Austin ultimately called the building manager, who confirmed the men have a lease in the building. He told the Tribune that his actions led to his company losing its lease in the building.

“Should have handled it differently,” he said in an email to the Tribune. “Not my job to have done anything.”

Top Figure posted the video of the exchange to its Instagram page. As of Wednesday evening, it has 33,000 likes.

“I’m Tom Austin,” the man says in the video. “I’m a tenant in the building. Are you?”

In the Instagram caption, the men accused Austin of “racial profiling and age discrimination” and tagged the building’s Instagram page. 

“As you guys can see, we’re dealing with racism here,” one man said in the video. 

Austin insisted to the Tribune he was not being racist and was upholding a building policy that allows only tenants to use amenities. He said he saw one of them open the door to the gym with a key fob and let the rest in before the group got “aggressive.” 

He told the Tribune that by the end of the exchange, he was on “talking terms” with the men.

“I said, ‘I’m sorry you thought I was being racist, but I was not. If you were a bunch of women, I would have done the same thing,'” Austin told the Tribune.

The incident comes just days after a video of a white Minneapolis police officer kneeling on the neck of George Floyd until he died of asphyxiation went viral. The death of Floyd, an African American man, led to massive protests in the city and calls for an investigation into the officers behavior.

Stuart Ackerberg, CEO of Ackerberg Group, which owns the MoZaic East building, said he was still heartbroken from seeing the video of Floyd when he decide to terminate the lease. 

“My heart hurts,” he told the Tribune. “This is not how we do business. … I’m alarmed by what I saw.”

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Dallas

Bodycam video released of Andre Leshon Lee who lost consciousness when arrested but died 5 days later in Dallas PD custody, Report

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The Dallas Police Department has released a video of Andre Leshon Lee who they say lost consciousness shortly after being taken into custody on August 28. The video released clearly shows he lost consciousness at the site where he was arrested.

The report goes on to say Lee died September 2 in police custody a week after losing consciousness. Something doesn’t add up here.

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According to Fox 4 the investigation by Dallas police into Lee’s death, he and his wife were driving the night of August 28, when his wife said he got out of the car and started running.

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Morehouse School of Medicine students get surprise news that $26M gift will help pay off their debt

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ATLANTA — It’s a major gift to an Atlanta-based historically Black college aimed at helping close the gap in medical disparities in America.

On Wednesday, Morehouse School of Medicine announced they received a $26.3-million donation from Bloomberg Philanthropies, the organization founded by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. 

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Apalachee Elementary assistant principal Nikki Bradley under fire for monkey post about black students

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According to WCTV Leon County school administrators, Thursday publicly detailed the investigation of an assistant principal’s Facebook post that lead to a reprimand and demotion.

The district received multiple complaints about the post by Apalachee Elementary assistant principal Nikki Bradley.

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Bradley wrote this message on her personal Facebook page:

“For a while now, I have felt like Ringmaster of the ****show. Today has done me in! I do not want to be ringmaster, someone come get the monkeys and all the circus friends.

#exhausted #goawaycovid #imgoingtobed”

“It’s important to clarify for the record what took place, the investigation that happened, and what discipline we have enforced,” said Superintendent Rocky Hanna in a Facebook live on Thursday.

The district’s Director of Labor and Employee Relations, Deana McAllister, says an investigation determined the post “was not meant to be divisive or hurtful, nor racially motivated.”

McAllister says the post did show a lack of professionalism and poor judgement, leading to a formal reprimand and demotion of Bradley. She was reassigned from Apalachee Elementary to Killearn Lakes.

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