All D’Arreion Toles wanted to do was go home and relax. But realtor Hilary Brooke Thornton had other ideas. The white woman was filmed blocking the black man from entering his St. Louis loft building. She is now denying claims she is a racist.
She Defended Her Actions
Hilary Brooke Thornton, 32, says she was “concerned for her safety” when she saw D’Arreion Toles entering her luxury condo building in Missouri City. Toles says he was coming home from work on Friday night when Thornton physically blocked him from going inside.
Thorthon has now been fired from her job as a realtor as a result of the video filmed by Toles. The 24-year-old man filmed her as she held her dog on a leash and called 911 – demanding to know which apartment he lived in.
Thornton has now spoken out about the incident, telling Fox2 that Toles didn’t have an electronic key fob and forced his way inside. She insists that she was only following the condo board’s instructions as to not allow strangers inside.
“I simply asked if he lived there because the direction from the association is… that if you don’t know the person, you don’t let them in,” she said.
“It’s the only indicator any resident has that they live in the building and he wouldn’t answer me. He would not show me one,” she said.
In the viral video, Toles can be heard saying: “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 your blocking my way. I’ve already buzzed in.”
She’s Been Getting Death Threats
Thornton, flatly denied she is a racist and claims she’s been getting death threats since the video went viral.
The woman – who is legally married to an African-American man, according to KTVI — said “That’s false and heartbreaking. Those are words that cut deep.”
Thornton was filmed asking Toles: “Do you live here?… I’m uncomfortable.”
“You can be uncomfortable. That’s your discretion. You’re uncomfortable because you’re you,” Toles replied.
Thornton claims her neighbor eventually forced his way inside, but says the “altercation” wasn’t filmed because the camera was facing toward the ground.
Thornton’s employer, property management company Tribeca-STL, says it found the interaction “disturbing” and fired her for racial profiling.
“The Tribeca-STL family is a minority-owned company that consists of employees and residents from many racial backgrounds,” a statement from the company read. “We are proud of this fact and do not and never will 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.”
Police responded about 30 minutes later after being called by Thornton, but they did not cite anyone.