Over the weekend, we shared the story of the most recent White woman who called the police on a Black man simply trying to get into his apartment. In case you missed it, the Missouri woman, who has since been identified as Hilary Brooke Mueller, stood in the doorway blocking a Black man, D’Arreion Toles from entering his apartment.
She repeatedly asked him for his apartment number and to produce his key fob. He refused, brushing past her to get to his residence. Instead of leaving him alone, Mueller followed him all the way to his door.
Since the video, which Toles shared on Facebook, went viral, Mueller has been fired from her job as a realtor and she told a local Fox affiliate that she had received death threats.
During her interview, Mueller, who identified herself as Hilary Thornton, said, “When I noticed an individual that I did not know here, my only thought was to follow directions I had been given by condo association board members repeatedly; and that is to never allow access to anyone that you do not know.”
She said her plan was simply to determine whether or not he was a fellow resident by asking his apartment number and to see his key fob.
“It’s the only indicator that any resident that has that they live in the building, he would not answer me. He would not show me one.”
Mueller said in addition to the death threats she’s received, she’s also been called racist.
“There are truly no words. That is absolutely false and heartbreaking. Those are words that truly cut deep.”
Thorton is still legally married to an African American man, Brandon Mueller—although the two have been separated for the past year. Mr. Mueller, who is biracial with a Black father and White mother, posted a video sharing his disappointment regarding his estranged wife’s actions.
Mr. Mueller also reached out to Toles to show his support.
Two days after Toles posted the video on Facebook, Mueller’s employer issued a statement confirming her 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 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.”
According to The New York Times, Toles started recording the incident because he didn’t feel safe in the situation. “At the end of the day, why would she call the police on me? I just walked in and went to my house.”
Totes said that the situation was reminiscent of the one in Dallas, where Botham Jean was killed in his apartment by an off-duty police officer.
“It’s kind of hitting me again, thinking about the whole thing,” Toles said of his encounter with Mueller.
“It’s pretty sad…like you can’t be who you are in America.”
Toles told CBS affiliate KMOV4 about his feelings during the time of the incident. “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.”
But he said he doesn’t have any animosity toward Mueller and is encouraging other people to take that same approach. “Like I said, don’t respond negatively. Don’t go after the lady. Let her be at peace. Let her live her life. 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.”
It was clear from the video that Toles has the patience of some type of saint. I can agree that I would press any charges and I wouldn’t encourage other people to attack her verbally or in any other way. But I would still be mad at her and the disrespect and entitlement she showed that evening. Absolutely. But as someone who experienced the moment firsthand, maybe Toles’ approach is the better one.
Article Courtesy of MadameNoire
First Picture Courtesy of Priyesh Malviya, EyeEm, and Getty Images
Second Picture Courtesy of South_agency and Getty Images
First and Second Post and First through Fourth Video Courtesy of Facebook and MadameNoire