On Monday, the owner of Tutto Pazzo restaurant, Luigi Petrone, made racist remarks about the Black Lives Matter protesters in Huntington Village. His comments, which were made in a Facebook Live video, was slammed by many in the community who shared the video with others on social media and vowed to stop going to the Italian restaurant.
In the video, Petrone called the protesters "little punks," and continued: "They look like little animals, little savages. They saw a bunch of us, with a bunch of watermelons we were going to throw at them."
The owner of Pancho Villa's restaurant, Augie Abbatiello, was also in the video. The two have since issued apologies.
"The words were taken out of context. I was wrong," Petrone said.
Abbatiello apologized, saying: "I did not hear his vile, disgusting, racist comments that he made. I apologize for being even featured in this video. This is not who I am."
Tracey Edwards, a former member of the Huntington Town Board and the Long Island Regional Director of the NAACP, stated that she believed the apologies were not sufficient.
"You need to apologize to the children that organized the peaceful protest," Edwards said. "You need to make a public apology. You need to apologize to Augie from Pancho Villa's [who] was behind you in your stupid racist video. You need to apologize to the rest of the business owners in the village trying to get their business back up and running. We are all trying to unite and then here you come with your video.”
"You need to make another video and don't be shy. Apologize to all of us. As a Huntington resident, I, like many others, have spent hard-earned money in your restaurant. Never again. As a NAACP leader, I would like to meet with you along with the President of the Huntington Village Business Owners Association, the Huntington Chamber of Commerce, and the Huntington Town Supervisor," Edwards continued.