Pita Shop Defends Black Lives Matter Support

Photo: DNAinfo/Linze Rice

A Chicago pita shop is standing in solidarity with Black Lives Matter protesters despite backlash from critics about the business’ decision to do so.

Shortly after the City of Chicago released video footage showing a white CPD officer fatally shooting Laquan McDonald, a 17-year-old Black teenager, David Litchman, owner of Pockets, hung a “Black Lives Matter” banner from his store’s awning.

Soon after, Litchman says his sandwich shop began to receive calls and complaints about the sign.

“This was just a personal decision about the events that transpired, and what’s been transpiring across the country,” Litchman told DNAinfo. “The way the African-American community has been … it seems there has been a fair amount of racism out there continuing still, so we just wanted to support that.”

One employee says the establishment has received several racist calls in response to the sign. That same employee, who did not wish to be identified, stated that someone even confronted staff in person by yelling at employees.

Litchman removed the sign in response to the backlash. But quickly after doing so, he said Pockets became “flooded and inundated” with calls and emails showing support for the sign.

“People were proud that we had done it, and asked if we would rehang it,” he said. “We got inundated with very personal notes about how it this was a great thing we had done, and it was an important issue, and so forth. So I felt I wanted to continue to support the community.”

So he put the sign back up. While Litchman acknowledges that the sign will not stay up forever, he does in fact believe that “Black Lives Matter.”