What's on Tap

What's on Tap

Raleigh Raw robbed following social media criticism

Posted September 26
Updated September 27

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— A downtown Raleigh juice bar and cafe was robbed early Sunday, days after a post by the business sparked criticism on social media.

More than $5,000 in electronics, cash and merchandise was stolen from Raleigh Raw, 7 W. Hargett St., early Sunday, according to a police report.

The items stolen included three iPads, one MAC laptop, $500 in cash and Raleigh Raw clothing.

On Tuesday, Raleigh Police released surveillance images from the robbery. Authorities say that at least two white males participated in the robbery and one of them is known by the name "Drew."

Anyone with information is asked to call Raleigh CrimeStoppers at 919-834-HELP. CrimeStoppers pays cash rewards for anonymous tips that help solve cases.

Raleigh Raw owner Sherif Fouad said via Facebook that he believes his business was targeted in response to a post he made last week on the Raleigh Raw Instagram page about a group of five people from Chiltern Clinical research, who went into the shop to buy everyone a drink.

"Don't protest against what you hate, you're only giving that cause more energy. Instead promote what you love. Today we saw that idea in action," Fouad wrote.

The post drew criticism from some who took Fouad's post as an attack on recent protests in Charlotte over the officer-involved shooting death of 43-year-old Keith Lamont Scott.

The social media firestorm led Fouad to delete his original post.

"It was insensitive of me at the time," Fouad said, adding that he didn't realize that the post would be interpreted as an attack on the "Black Lives Matter" movement or recent protests.

Fouad said he understands protests are needed at times, especially given that his family is from Egypt and is free due to recent protests.

The next day, Fouad posted a clarification on Instagram.

There were some ppl offended by my comments in last nights post... So much so that I had to take it down. Not because I didn't stand behind it, I do. But because it offended people as they misunderstood my position. Yesterday's post I urged people: "don't protest against what you hate, you're only giving that cause more energy... Instead promote what you love" I want to be clear here. I'm not saying DONT PROTEST. We must protest. To be silent is to be complicit. It's HOW we protest that makes it effective. We protest what we love. The LGBT committee does this beautifully by calling their protest "gay pride" not "stand against straight people". The black community does this by calling their protest "Black lives matter" it's not "kill the white man" .. If a black man protests against what he hates by screaming out "fuck the police" he is re-establishing the unfair stereotype that they we are working so hard to reverse. The freehugs project in Charlotte protest this week showed a black peace activist attempting to hug and mend relations with city police and SWAT. Other black protesters ostracized him for it, calling him a "sell out ni***". I say He was brave. It's not easy to swallow your pride and indignation & extend an olive branch when all you wanna do is teach those a** hole cops a lesson they won't forget. But it's the only way. I was born in the African country of Egypt. In 2011 We protested for freedom until we toppled an oppressive regime. We didn't protest against corruption, it was FOR FREEDOM. Conversely, The war on drugs got us more drugs. The war on terror = more war. When you fight fire with fire you only create bigger flames. Mother Theresa said "I will never attend an anti war rally... If you have a peace rally, invite me." I protest against HB2 by having unisex bathrooms in my shop and a sign out front that reads "y'all means all"... not by hanging a large flag that says "shame" with a huge pic of governor McCrory... Although that's funny and hate him too, I choose to protest what I want to see happen. Through love and solidarity, a critical mass can eventually be reached.. I'm sorry to those who were offended. - Sherif

A photo posted by Raleigh Raw (@raleighrawjuice) on

On Sunday, Fouad posted on his personal Facebook page about the robbery, noting that a sign with the words "Black Lives Matter" was left at the scene. He said that he knows those who were the most vocal about his post weren't directly responsible, but blames their influence for his shop being targeted.

The robbery could have been worse, Fouad said. Being a raw food restaurant, any damage to the food would have cost the shop thousands of dollars.

No arrests have been made.

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