A Missouri woman identified as Hilary Brooke Mueller (who goes by Hilary Thornton) spoke out in an interview with Fox2 after losing her job. Thornton went viral after she accosted and followed D’Arreion Nuriyah Toles to his apartment.
Toles filmed the video and it exploded online, for obvious reasons. Many believed that Thornton racially profiled Toles when she demanded to see his key and pestered him about whether he lived in the Elder Shirt Lofts apartment building.
Thornton, flanked by a tiny dog she had on a leash, demanded to know if Toles lived there.
“I’m uncomfortable,” she said.
“Okay, you can be uncomfortable,” Toles replied. “That’s your discretion. You’re uncomfortable because of you. I need you to move out of my way, please.” Thornton followed Toles to his door.
“You just followed me all the way to my door,” he said. “And you see my keys are in the door.” “Have a good night ma’am,” he added. “Don’t do that again.”
Thornton, who was fired from her job at the real estate company Tribeca-STL, now says the she believes she didn’t do anything wrong and was merely following directions she was given by condo association board members.
“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’s to never allow access to anyone that you don’t know,” she told Fox2.
She said she was sent several emails advising her on what to do if a person she didn’t recognize entered the building.
“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,” Thornton said. “It’s the only indicator any resident has that they live in the building and he wouldn’t answer me,” she said. “He would not show me one.”
She said Toles needed her to let him in the building, prompting her suspicions about whether he was a resident there, and that he forced his way in.
She called accusations that she’s a “racist” heartbreaking, adding “I don’t think I did anything wrong.”
At least one other resident, Lynn Schlosser, said “I do [this] all the time,” to protect people who live there. She said she routinely denies UPS or FedEx workers from entering.
Thornton is legally married to an African-American man.
Toles, for his part, asked people not to “respond negatively.”
“Don’t go after the lady. Let her be at peace. Let her live her life,” he told KMOV4. “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.”
[Image via Fox2 screengrab]
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