A Missouri woman was fired from her job on Sunday, two days after a video showed her attempting to block a black man from entering an apartment building where he also lives.
On Friday, D’Arreion Toles was returning home to St. Louis’ Elder Shirt Lofts after a late night at his office when Hilary Brooke Mueller, who lives on the third floor, stood in the doorway of the condominium complex and demanded to see proof that he lives in their building.
“Please move, ma’am,” Toles said in a video he recorded of the encounter, which has garnered over five million views and over 134,000 shares on Facebook.
“I can. Do you live here?” Mueller responded before Toles told her: “I’ve already answered that question. Excuse me. … You’re blocking me.”
Though Toles made attempts to enter, Mueller, who also said she was “uncomfortable,” repeatedly blocked him and said, “If you want to come into my building,” as he interjected by saying, “It’s my building as well. So, I need you to get out of my way … It’s not your building, you’re not the owner.”
Toles was eventually able to gain access into the building after showing his key fob, the police were called to his room. “30 mins later police knock on my door because she called!” he wrote on Facebook. “I was shocked this is America in 2018!”
Two days after Toles shared his video of Mueller on Facebook, Mueller’s employer issued a statement on their website confirming her job termination.
“Tribeca-STL was recently shared 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 real estate company said.
“The video is showing the employee in her private life at her own residence interacting with another person. The Tribeca-STL family is a minority-owned company that consists of employees and residents from many racial backgrounds. We are proud of this fact and do not and never will stand for racism or racial profiling at our company,” the company said. “After a review of the matter the employee has been terminated and is no longer with our Company. At Tribeca-STL we want all residents, guests and visitors to feel welcome, safe and respected.”
Following the incident, Toles reflected on his encounter with Mueller. “I was kind of blown away, shocked and like wow.’ I am just glad I had my camera out. If I did not have my camera out, I feel it could have gone a totally different way,” he told local CBS station KMOV4.
Toles also added that he has no ill will against Mueller. “Like I said, don’t respond negatively. Don’t go after the lady. Let her be at peace. Let her live her life,” he said. “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.”
Toles’ encounter with Mueller comes just days after a Georgia man, named Corey Lewis, was stopped by police for “babysitting while black” over the weekend, sparking nationwide outrage. Lewis recorded his encounter on Facebook Live when he noticed that a strange woman was following him. The woman eventually called the police, and Lewis’ footage showed a Cobb County officer questioning the children.