Bookies Bar co-owner ‘severs ties’ with bar after racist statements

Mark Jerant, the co-owner of Bookies Bar & Grille, has "severed ties" with the bar after incendiary statements about a Tulsa police-related shooting spread on social media, according to an email sent to BLAC.

The bar's other owner, Jay Lambrecht, says the bar is working to improve its now-fractured relationship with customers.

"Jay's now former business partner Mark Jerant's Facebook post was very inflammatory, insensitive and angered a lot of people – especially African Americans here in Detroit," the statement reads. "His comments, not shared by Jay or the staff at Bookies Bar and Grille were devastating. The decision was made to sever ties and move forward in order to repair the damage, restore trust and earn Detroit's business again."

Lambrecht will be addressing the media at 10:30 a.m. today at the downtown bar.

The two high school classmates formed Lambrecht Jerant, the bar's holding company, in 2003. After moving to its current location on Cass Avenue, the bar quickly became a favorite among sports fans — and also several black event organizers, who were most vocal about Jerant's comments regarding Terence Crutcher, who was shot by Tulsa officers this month after his truck broke down. 

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"Listen to police who have guns pointed at you and don't get shot. It isn't hard," Jerant wrote on a friend's Facebook page. Screenshots of the comments quickly circulated around social media Tuesday morning.

Jerant apologized on Wednesday, saying he was only trying to convey similar frustrations held by "my African American friends."

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