A white woman has been fired after video emerged of her confronting and blocking the entry of a black neighbor at a St. Louis apartment complex.
“Please move, miss,” the black resident, D’Arreion Toles, is heard telling the woman on viral cell phone video he recorded late Friday as she blocked him from entering the downtown loft complex where they both live, CNN affiliate KMOV reported.
“I can,” she said. “Do you live here?”
The woman’s employer said in a statement that she was fired after a review of the incident, the station reported.
“The Tribeca-STL family is a minority-owned company that consists of employees and residents from many racial backgrounds,” the statement said.
“We are proud of this fact and do not and never will stand for racism or racial profiling at our company. … At Tribeca-STL we want all residents, guests and visitors to feel welcome, safe and respected.”
The incident occurred in the woman’s private residence and not at a Tribeca-STL property, the statement said.
The episode was the latest involving white people who are captured on video either confronting or calling the police on black people going about their everyday lives, including waiting in Starbucks, working as a home inspector, shopping at Nordstrom Rack, sleeping in an Ivy League dorm common room and barbecuing in a public park.
Last week in New York, a white woman in Brooklyn apologized after video was posted online of her appearing to call New York police to say a 9-year-old black boy grabbed her behind.
What the video shows
Late Friday, as Toles returned home to the Elder Shirt Lofts apartments, a neighbor with a small dog blocked his entry and demanded proof of residence, the station reported. He taped the encounter on his cell phone.
“You’re blocking me,” he told her.
“Into my building.”
“It’s my building as well. You need get out of my way.”
“OK, what unit?”
“I don’t need to tell you that information. Excuse me, miss.”
“OK, you can be uncomfortable. That’s your discretion. You’re uncomfortable because of you.”
Toles eventually showed a key fob and moved past the woman, KMOV reported. She followed him to his fourth-floor apartment.
“I was kind of blown away, shocked and like, ‘Wow,’” he later told the station. “If I did not have my camera out, I feel it could have gone a totally different way.”
Woman calls racism accusations ‘false’
But the woman, Hilary Thornton, told CNN affiliate KTVI that she simply asked if he lived there because he did not enter the building with his key fob.
“When I noticed an individual that I did not know, my only intent was to follow the direction I had been given by our condo association board members repeatedly, and that is to never allow access to any individual that you do not know,” she said.
Thornton told KTVI the accusations that she is racist are “absolutely false and heartbreaking.”
“I do not think I did anything wrong,” she said.
Toles told KMOV that he was not mad at the woman.
“I am not upset with her,” he said. “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.”
CNN’s Amanda Watts contributed to this report.