A woman has been fired from her job after a video of her trying to stop a black man from getting into his building went viral.
D'Arreion Toles was returning from work when his neighbour, Hilary Brooke Thornton, stood in front of the door to his building at a luxury block in St Louis, Missouri and refused to let him in unless he told her exactly where he lived.
He posted the incident on his Facebook. It showed a white woman with her dog blocking him from walking through the door at the Elder Shirts Lofts.
The 32-year-old, who lives on the same block as Toles, is seen demanding proof that he lives in the building.
"Do you live here? I'm sorry the keypad is right there, I'm sorry, I'm uncomfortable getting out of the way," she said initially.
You're blocking me into my building, it's my building as well, so can you just get out of my way. I live here and you're blocking my way. I've already buzzed in.
She responded: "I'm not touching you at all, I'm not doing anything other than letting my dog go to the bathroom. You just walked off the street and don't have a keypad. You pushed your way in."
After asking him what unit he lived in, Toles said he didn't have to tell her and eventually lets her know he lives on the fourth floor. That wasn't enough however, and she continues to stand in his way - so he pushes past her.
"Are you kidding me?" She shouts, before following him into the elevator. She repeatedly asks him where he is going and who he is going to see. Toles gets out on the fourth floor, where she proceeds to follow him despite repeated requests not to do so. "Please stop following me, I do not want to speak with you," he insisted, telling her he's going to call the police and report her for harassment.
"I want to introduce myself as a neighbour," she says.
Eventually he enters his apartment, and half an hour later gets a knock on the door from police that Thornton allegedly called.
Her former partner, Brandon Mueller, had identified her on his Facebook page.
Toles, who is chief executive officer and owner at Global Wealth Insights Corp. wrote on his Facebook post:
Be A Black man in America & Come home, women [sic] tries to stop me from coming into my building because she feels insecure, Downtown St. Louis luxury loft, because she don't feel that I belong, never really thought this would happen to me, but it did!
Then 30 minutes later police knock on my door, because she called! I was shocked this is America in 2018!
Following the incident, Thornton was fired from her job as a realtor, and the company released a statement on its website that read:
Tribeca-STL was recently shared [in] a video containing a disturbing interaction that we believe is important to clarify. The video did involve one of our employees, but the event did not take place at Tribeca-STL and did not involve one of our tenants. The video is showing the employee in her private life at her own residence interacting with another person Tribeca-STL is a minority-owned company that consists of employees and residents from many racial backgrounds.
We...never stand for racism or racial profiling at our company.
After a review of the matter the employee has been terminated and is no longer with our company.
Tole told KMOV that he "appreciates the love and support" given to him, and asks people not to go after Thornton.
I am not mad at her. I am not upset with her. I am not going to go after her legally or anything like that. I wish her the best. I would still have a conversation with her.