The CEO of a San Francisco-based skin care company publicly apologized for summoning the police after she confronted a man who was writing the Black Lives Matter slogan on his own property.
Lisa Alexander, who runs LaFace Skincare, triggered social media backlash when a video of her interaction with James Juanillo went viral.
In reaction to what happened, she sent a statement to CBS San Francisco.
“I want to apologize directly to Mr. Juanillo. There are not enough words to describe how truly sorry I am for being disrespectful to him last Tuesday when I made the decision to question him about what he was doing in front of his home,” she wrote. “I should have minded my own business. The last 48 hours has taught me that my actions were those of someone who is not aware of the damage caused by being ignorant and naive to racial inequalities.”
“When I watch the video I am shocked and sad that I behaved the way I did,” she continued “It was disrespectful to Mr. Juanillo and I am deeply sorry for that. I did not realize at the time that my actions were racist and have learned a painful lesson. I am taking a hard look at the meaning behind white privilege and am committed to growing from this experience.”
In the video, Alexander is seen questioning Juanillo about the chalk statement he was writing, saying that he was making it on private property and that she knew the owner. As it turns out, Juanillo was the owner and was writing on his own property.
“She (Alexander) decided to call men with guns because of chalk art,” said Juanillo, who is Filipino and has lived in San Francisco’s Pacific Heights neighborhood for 18 years.
Soon after the police responded, they came by, but didn’t even get out of their car. Juanillo told the station that he is familiar with most police officers in the area.
But he also said that he is willing to sit down and talk with Alexander about what happened. She seemed receptive to the idea.
“I would love to have coffee with Mr. Juanillo in our neighborhood so I can apologize in person and share a dialogue where I can continue to learn and grow and be a better person,” she said in her statement.