Whoever said no good deed goes unpunished might not have ever visited Philadelphia.
One bar owner in the City of Brotherly Love failed to show at least one brother any love at all when, in fact, all that was being done was a simple common courtesy in the name of public health.
The unfortunate episode unfolded on Sunday after a Black man riding a bike stopped next to the outdoor seating area of a bar In Philadelphia’s Old City neighborhood and warned patrons, shouting, “Social distancing! No one is wearing a mask!” according to a report by the Philadelphia Inquirer. After patrons yelled back at the bike rider for him to leave, a white man confronted him and gestured like he was going to fight.
The woman who jumped between them said the bike rider yelled a variation of a “MAGA” insult to the man, who responded by saying “Trump 2020!” before pulling out a gun and aiming it directly at the Black bike rider. That’s when the bike rider pulled out his bike lock in an apparent act of self-defense. People began screaming and the moment quickly intensified.
The scene was recorded on video by a bystander and posted to social media, where it went viral. Watch it below.
The man who pulled the gun has been identified as Jamie Atlig, who owns a local bar named Infusion Lounge. Atlig quickly put his gun away and the unidentified bike rider rode away, but the damage had been done.
When reached by the Inquirer, Atlig’s lawyer said his client is innocent of any wrongdoing.
“Mr. Atlig is licensed to carry a firearm. He has extensive firearm training. He’s a business owner and he was being threatened,” criminal defense attorney Robert Gamburg said. “The individual reached behind his back for an object, Mr. Atlig unholstered his licensed firearm, defused the situation, and sat back down.”
Police questioned Atlig but as of Tuesday morning had not made an arrest in what a spokesperson called “a very active investigation at this point.”
The woman who stepped between the two men when the gun was drawn told the Inquirer she was dismayed by cops’ response.
“The Black man doesn’t need to be killed for this to be a story,” Liz Krieger said. “A man had a gun pulled on him for speaking the truth. We weren’t social distancing. He was completely in the right to be yelling at us — and if I hadn’t been there, this is how Black people are shot and it’s claimed later that he had a bike lock on him and people thought it was a gun. But let’s be clear: The bike lock was never pulled out [until after the gun was].”
This is America.