Coop’s serves up a mean plate of barbeque. Thursday it served more than that to the lunchtime crowd.
Owner Brad Cooper, who goes by “Coop”, live-streamed the memorial service for George Floyd, who was killed during an arrest on Memorial Day, for his customers to watch as they waited in line for their lunch.
“I love everybody,” Coop told NBC7. “I don’t care if you’re white, black, Hispanic, Chinese or Korean.”
He does care about racism, something the restaurant owner, who is black, has lived with all his life.
Coop said he doesn’t support the burning, looting and vandalism, but he does support the Black Lives Matter movement that’s swept the nation since Floyd died at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer.
“Excuse me, but it’s like telling white America, 'Look, this is what we’ve been telling you all about, all this time.' This is what we’ve been saying about what’s happening and they ignore us and say, 'Oh they’re just making this up.'”
Coop said the death of George Floyd put the problem right in people’s faces.
“You can’t ignore it,” he said.
“I believe we’re all human beings and everybody should be treated like human beings.”
“Even police?” NBC 7's Allison Ash asked him. His answer was “yes."
“Just because these cops (in Minneapolis) didn’t do the right thing doesn’t mean all cops do the wrong thing,” Coop added, saying lots of law enforcement are part of his very diverse customer base.
The business owner, who hails from Texas, said he hopes police will get better training on race relations. “It starts in the training academy,” he said.
Coop told NBC7 it makes him feel great to see so many white people protesting alongside black people in places like Poway and Escondido, areas isolated from the inner city.
Unfortunately, Coop said, George Floyd had to die before Americans got fed up with the racism that’s run rampant in the U.S. for hundreds of years.
“I pray that it’s not in vain,” Coop said.