White Detroit Business Owner Spits on Black Man Working Security at Event Over Parking Dispute

Ibrahim Mission
Ibrahim Mission
Screenshot: Detroit Free Press

The white owner of a Detroit business is issuing an apology a little too late after spitting on a young black man who was coordinating parking and working security at an event over some issues with parking.


These ignorant trolls never learn.

The incident all started on Tuesday when Robert Stanzler, the owner of the Detroit Mercantile Co., confronted Ibrahim Mission, who posted video of the clash on Facebook.

In the video, Stanzler can be seen flipping off the young man before spitting on him.

“That’s assault, you know that’s assault right, Robert?” a voice behind the camera can be heard saying.

Witnesses described Stanzler’s conduct as “vile” and violent” and are calling for a boycott of his shop which sells Detroit-inspired clothing, home goods and other products, the Detroit Metro Times reports. 

The confrontation started in the parking lot near another business, the Eastern. It and the Detroit Mercantile share a building. Stanzler became enraged because attendees at the Eastern event were parking in the spaces reserved for his business. Mission was working security for the venue, the Metro Times notes, and quickly became the target of Stanzler’s ire.

People began to move their cars out of Stanzler’s section of the lot, and Stanzler drove his truck into the lot blocking off his area in the most douchebaggy of ways, before getting out and continuing to get into Mission’s face.


Mission, according to the witnesses, attempted to retain his cool, but started recording with his camera, which captured Stanzler spitting at him.

It was only when Mission called the police that Stanzler began to whine and whimper, “aggressively apologizing.”


“To have anybody spit in your face — you have the racial component of an older white man spitting in a younger black man’s face, which is very loaded. That still means a lot,” ill Weaver, who spells their name with a lower case “i” told the news site. “It took a lot of restraint for [Mission] to stay that composed.”

Weaver is the program director for the Detroit Narrative Agency, one of the local partners present at the networking event, dubbed “Good Pitch Local” at the Eastern that was organized by the Doc Society, a non-profit which focuses on connecting filmmakers to groups whose work could make good documentaries.


“I think that a boycott is a necessity—Ibrahim and I talked about it. It doesn’t make sense that this business should be successful if this is how [Stanzler] behaves. I think he owes Ibrahim an apology, I think he owes our community an apology ... but apologies are just apologies,” Weaver added. “He needs to really commit to a much longer process for how he and his business are going to undo his racist actions, which are violent, disrespectful actions ... and he is white, toxic masculinity embodied.”

Mission expressed his shock at being spat on to the Detroit Free Press.

“I grew up in the city of Detroit,” the 29-year-old said. “My dad actually was a minister and that’s when I started doing security. I used to secure my dad when he’d go to different events. Over time, I began doing different security gigs, NAACP dinners, everybody from black, white, Chinese, movie stars, artists, rappers, activists, and I never encountered something like that. I’ve encountered somebody saying a racial slur, somebody not being too happy with security, but never ran into where an individual, especially a white individual, felt comfortable enough to spit on me.”


“It was very humiliating, very disrespectful ...,” he added. “People like this should not be allowed to be in this communty of Detroit and be able to feel they could take such liberties with helpers. I’ve always been a helper and I’ve never had any issue like this.”

According to Weaver and other sources, Stanzler has a reputation of being a “bully.” And it appears that his reign of terror has come to an end after messing with the wrong person for the last time.


As already mentioned, Stanzler attempted to apologize once he realized that there would be very real repercussions for his very nasty actions, releasing a lengthy statement on the Detroit Mercantile’s Facebook page.

“My anger over a growing conflict pertaining to parking spaces between a neighboring business got the best of me. I attempted to address the matter with Mr. Mission, but things quickly escalated and I lashed out. My behavior was unconscionable, offensive and disrespectful. Not only did I offend Mr. Mission by my actions, but I owe an apology to those who witnessed the incident, my staff, fellow business owners in Eastern Market, residents of Detroit; and friends and family who may bare [sic] this burden with me,” the statement read.


That’s all well and good, but police responding to Mission’s call still arrested Stanzler for simple assault. He was released on Wednesday but the investigation continues.


News Editor at The Root, animation nerd, soca junkie, yogi



I was a timid little girl. I’m an only child; so I was always happy to be around other kids but painfully shy when I met them for the first time. The first time I went to visit my paternal grandmother, when I was about 6 years old (as she tried to repair her strained relationship with my mom’s side of the family), I was left on the front porch while the adults went inside to talk. The neighborhood bully-who may have been 7 or 8, along with a few of her friends, walked up to me, started asking me questions & suddenly spat at me. It landed on my Bon Jour jeans. Without saying a word, I kicked her lil ass down the front steps. When she stood up crying, angry, hair all over her head, all she could do was glare at me. But I betcha she nor her friends crossed my path EVER again. Keep your gottttdamn saliva in your mouth where it belongs.