“When you come home in America as a black man”, D’Arreion Toles (24) posted this weekend on Facebook. He added some disconcerting videos to it. A white woman of 32 then refused Toles access to the luxurious apartment building, where he still lives. She follows him all the way to the door of his flat and even calls the police. The consequences of her attitude, which her employer labelled as racism, are heavy: she is fired.
D’Arreion Toles filmed how his neighbour, Hilary Brooke Mueller, would not let him pass by the main entrance when he returned home last Friday evening. Mueller could clearly but not believe that the young black man would live in a luxury flat in the centre of Saint Louis, Missouri. She did not want to give up for a meter. Toles himself remained remarkably calm and retrieved his smartphone to film because he did not feel safe himself. “Why would she call the police if I just stepped in to my house?” Toles was referring to a similar incident in Dallas where a white police woman without service shot a black man in his apartment because she thought she was in her own flat.
Mueller demanded that Toles show his key and that he tell her in which apartment he lived. The twenty-something did not want that just like that. He made it clear with his Facebook video, which had already been viewed 71,000 times: “A woman tried to stop me from entering my own building because she felt unsafe. She found that I did not belong in a luxury loft in the centre of Saint Louis. Never thought that something like that would happen to me, but it happened! Half an hour later the police were at my door. She had called them. I’m shocked that this is the America of 2018!” The police confirmed that they responded to “a call from a woman who did not know if the man was a tenant”.
The 32-year-old Mueller was a real estate agent, but after the fuss around the video of Toles she got the billing, according to the New York Times. She lives in the same apartment block as Toles, but it is not her former employer who manages the building. Toles had also made it clear to her during their exchange of words: “You are not the security, you are not the administrator”.
Mueller was just walking with her dog when Toles wanted to enter the luxurious apartment block, Elder Shirt Lofts. “I feel uncomfortable”, Mueller explained as to why she prevented access to Toles. “That is because you are who you are”, Toles replied calmly. He said, “Okay, I live here and you block the entrance.” Mueller demanded proof and repeatedly asked him for his key. Toles only wanted to mention that he lived on the fourth floor.
Toles was tired of it and forced a passage. Mueller followed him and stepped into the elevator: “I want to know who will visit you here”. It started to dawn on her that Toles might be able to live in the building. “I want to know who your friends are, why you are here. And if you live here anyway, I want to get to know you because you are my neighbour”. Toles replied laconically: “Then you have not started very warmly”.
When Toles opened the door to his apartment, Mueller suddenly said casually: “Hello, what’s your name?” Toles was surprised and reacted: “Madam, never do this again”. And just before he closed his door again, he said, “I am Mr. Toles.” A first meeting that will undoubtedly stay with the lady for a long time.
Her ex-husband, Brandon Mueller, has been separated from her for more than a year. He posted a video message on Facebook to dissociate himself from the behaviour of his former life partner. Like thousands of others, he wrote a support message on the Toles Facebook.
Source: New York Time, Facebook