BALTIMORE — The owner of several local bars and restaurants is under fire after posted tweets criticizing the Baltimore Ceasefire efforts.
Brian McComas owns Ryleigh's Oyster in Federal Hill, among several other restaurants and bars in the area. Many people were not happy to see his comments regarding the Ceasefire Weekend. Some are even threatening to boycott his establishments.
Over the weekend, McComas tweeted out a made-up interaction between two imagined parties who he called 'thugs.' He also refers to organizers of the Ceasefire movement as village idiots.
People quickly fired back on Twitter, calling his tweet offensive.
Followers made comments about no longer going to his restaurants. Others on Twitter did come to his defense and recognized his frustrations with the violence in the city.
McComas responded on Twitter to some of the backlash, saying that someone called him a racist. He said, “That's the last thing I am. Racists come in all shapes, sizes and colors. See Baltimore City leadership.”
Somebody called me a racist! 😂 you made my weekend and it’s not even 8am yet on Saturday! THATS THE LAST THING I AM FOLKS. Racists come in all shapes, sizes and colors. 😉. See: Baltimore City leadership
— MacOyster (@MacOyster) May 11, 2019
In another tweet, McComas responded that it wasn't his intent to offend or dismiss the nonviolence movement. He's just grown tired of reading about the carnage and the leadership giving lip service to people fighting for their lives.
He sent WMAR-2 News a statement regarding his tweet:
My tweet was not meant to disparage the “ceasefire” in anyway. Of course I support a ceasefire. I had one of my own staff members murdered in cold blood just over two years ago.
The tweet stemmed from my anger toward the city’s leadership treating the citizens of Baltimore like idiots, telling them what they want to hear to garner votes and supporting movements like the ceasefire by showing up but doing absolutely NOTHING of substance to stop this violence. But yet they remain in leadership and have for decades as the City of Baltimore has suffered.
I failed miserably in what I was trying to say and accomplish and I must own that. I unequivocally support any citizen or group in Baltimore trying to stop this ridiculous violence. I sincerely apologize to everyone for letting my anger get the better of me and I will do what I can to make amends.
When asked about taking down the tweet, he responded on Twitter saying he didn't delete it because he owned it, and he was being misunderstood.
Baltimore Ceasefire's co-founder Erricka Bridgeford spoke to WMAR-2 News' Skyler Henry. She says she understands McComas' frustration with city violence, but isn't a fan of his comments.
"I understand it. But these are also not the people that's in the streets doing the work. You don't hear people that's actually in the streets of Baltimore doing the work saying hopeless things and speaking darkness over our city," Bridgeford said.
While both are calling for an end to the unprecedented number of shootings and murders in the city, Bridgeford says she's going to continue doing it her way, and won't stop until there's a true ceasefire.
"Murder shows up real arrogantly like there's nothing you can do about it and I've experience a lot of murders in my life, it's been very close to me. So I know murder well and I know it needs to be afraid as long as I'm alive," she said.