- Hilary Thornton was filmed blocking D’Arreion Toles, a black man, from entering his own apartment building in St. Louis last week.
- Thornton was fired from her job and accused of racial profiling after the videos went viral.
- Thornton said she was doing what the condo board had asked residents to do for safety when they don’t recognize someone: Don’t let them into the building.
A white woman who was filmed blocking a black man from entering his own apartment said she is not racist and refused to let him into the building only because she didn’t recognize him as a resident.
Hilary Thornton spoke to KTVI on Tuesday, days after losing her job after videos of her interaction with D’Arreion Toles in St. Louis went viral.
Toles uploaded videos to Facebook showing Thornton blocking him from entering the apartment and following him all the way to his unit to ensure he did in fact live in the Elder Shirt Lofts building.
Thornton told KTVI she was doing what the condo board had asked residents to do for safety when they don’t recognize someone: Don’t let them into the building.
“When I noticed an individual that I did not know, my only intent was to follow the directions that I had been given by our condo-association board members, repeatedly, and that is to never allow access to any individual you do not know,” she said.
Thornton said since the videos went viral, she has been called a racist online.
“That’s false and heartbreaking,” she said, telling KTVI that she’s legally married to an African-American man. “Those are words that cut deep.”
Thornton and her husband, Brandon Mueller, have been separated for more than a year, according to a video he posted on Facebook in which he voices his disappointment in her.
The incident started when Toles tried to enter the building while Thornton had the door cracked as her dog went to the bathroom.
Thornton said Toles did not have a key fob to enter the building and told him he made her “uncomfortable.”
Toles showed her his key fob in a video of the incident. Thornton followed Toles all the way to his apartment and watched him open his door with his keys.
After the videos of the incident went viral, Thornton’s employer, Tribeca STL, fired her for racial profiling.
The company said that while the incident took place in the woman’s personal residence, it wanted all of its own residents, guests, and visitors to feel “welcome, safe and respected.”
Toles told KOMV earlier this week that it’s sad that what happened to him is “something that is recurring in America.”