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Renting While Black: White Woman Blocks Black Man Trying to Get Home

Police said the woman called because she was "uncomfortable"; she gets fired from her actual job.

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Hilary Brooke Mueller, a white woman, decided that she was the police, security and a private investigator, on top of being racist.

Mueller blocked D'Arreion Toles of St. Louis, a Black man, from entering his own apartment building, Elder Shirt Lofts, and proceeded to harass him and follow him to his apartment.

She kept asking what unit he lived in and to show his keys. Toles, stayed calm and asked her repeatedly to move and told her she had no right to question him. Surprise, Mueller said she did, because she lived on the third floor.

"You are blocking me into my building. This is my building as well. So, I need you to get out of my way," said Toles.

She said she was "uncomfortable," to which Toles replied that was her issue, not his.

Toles recorded her and the video went viral.


Once inside the building, she continued to ask him questions and followed him into the elevator and to his apartment. Once he pulled out his keys, she changed her tune and tried to introduce herself as his neighbor.

Toles said he wanted nothing to do with her. He later answered his door to police that were called on him!

"I was kind of blown away, shocked and like wow," said Toles. "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."

The Metropolitan Police Department in St. Louis said it responded to a 911 call that "was made because the caller did not know if the male subject was a tenant."

Mueller's actions not only didn't sit well with her neighbor Toles, but also didn't sit well with her employer, Tribeca Luxury Apartments. She was fired on Sunday.

The company, not affiliated with the Mueller and Toles' residence, said in a statement that the interaction was "disturbing."

"The Tribeca-STL family is a minority-owned company that consists of employees and residents from many racial backgrounds," the statement said. "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."

The local new station tried to interview Mueller and buzzed her unit and also called numbers listed for her, but she never answered.

Toles reflected on the incident. "At the end of the day, why would she call the police on me? I just walked in and went to my house."

"It's pretty sad."

Related Story: Moving While Black: 'They think I'm stealing, I've been hearing this for 40 years,' Says Karle Robinson

Reader Question: Do you think Toles was justified in his responses; should he have expected the police to be called? Should he have called the police?

UPDATE: Man Found Guilty of a Lesser Charge for Shooting at Black Teen

Brennan Walker testified: "I turned back and I saw him aiming at me ... I was trying to run away faster and I heard a gunshot."

The jury at Oakland County Circuit Court in Michigan found Jeffrey Craig Ziegler, age 53, guilty of assault with intent to do great bodily harm and possession of a firearm in the commission of a felony.

They deliberated less than three hours on Friday after closing arguments, where the prosecutor, Kelly Collins, argued that Ziegler "was the danger," not the teen. Brennan Walker narrowly escaped fatal injury because Ziegler forgot to turn off the safety on his 12-gauge Mossberg shotgun. The video showed he was unable to immediately fire at first, and police confirmed the safety was initially on.

Ziegler's attorney, Robert Morad, argued his client was firing a warning shot in the air one time and never chased after Walker.

The original charge was assault with intent to murder, punishable by up to life in prison, but Ziegler was convicted on the lesser charge and faces up to 10 years in prison.

He showed no emotion as the verdict was read.

Lisa Wright, Walker's mother, cried as the verdict was read. She had accused Ziegler of taking actions that were racially motivated. Her friend Carin Poole said justice was served "in some way."

Related Story: White Man Who Shot at Lost Black Teen and Called Him 'Colored' Stands Trial

Poole also said the hope was for a more serious charge.

According to a study done by the Equal Justice Initiative:

White defendants were 25 percent more likely than black defendants to have their most serious initial charge dropped or reduced to a less severe charge; approximately 15 percent more likely than similar black defendants to be convicted of a misdemeanor instead. White defendants with no prior convictions were over 25 percent more likely than black defendants with no prior convictions to receive a charge reduction.

Ziegler testified that he thought Walker was an adult, at 6-feet, 2-inches tall, and that "instinct" made him grab his gun to protect his wife.

Walker testified: "I turned back and I saw him aiming at me... I was trying to run away faster and I heard a gunshot."

Morad said outside of court that the home security video could appear to show Ziegler was firing in Walker's direction, but said the shot goes away from where the teen was running.

Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard said, "That's just completely unacceptable on every level. I don't know how you would justify it, but it certainly doesn't pass the muster," said Bouchard.

Judge Wendy Potts revoked Ziegler's bond and ordered him to jail pending sentencing Nov. 13.

Reader Question: When sentencing happens in a month, how much time in do you think Ziegler will be sentenced to?

One 'Pocahontas' is Real, The Other Isn't

Sen. Elizabeth Warren releases a DNA test as the Republican House Majority Leader's family member is revealed as taking government set-asides fraudulently.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and GOP House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy

In a rebuttal to President Trump's ridiculing of her as "fake Pocahontas," Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) has released a DNA test that shows "strong evidence" she has Native-American heritage. Meanwhile, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy's family benefited from a U.S. program for minorities based on the doubtful claim his brother-in-law is Cherokee.

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Democrats in Midterm Jeopardy Over Poor Outreach to Latinos

Failure to directly address concerns leads to weak support. Races in Nevada, Arizona, Texas and Florida, states with growing Hispanic populations, are bungled.

REUTERS

Democrats are struggling to secure the Latino vote in the midterm elections because the party did not engage Latino voters strongly enough.

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Serena Williams Tells Women to 'Be Seen, Be Heard'

The tennis pro talked to women about empowerment and equality.

TWITTER

Wearing a T-shirt with the statement "Be Seen, Be Heard," Serena Williams spoke at a conference Friday afternoon in Philadelphia, offering a message consistent with the tennis pro's battles in her professional life.

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Pope Francis Accepts Resignation of Washington Archbishop in Wake of Sex Abuse Cover-Up Scandal

Cardinal Donald Wuerl presided over 32 priests accused of sexually abusing children.

Washington Cardinal Donald Wuerl / REUTERS

A Pennsylvania grand jury recently released a report on predator priests and sexual abuse in the early 1990s, which sparked outcry over Washington Cardinal Donald Wuerl's handling of the situation. Wuerl resigned from his position as the archbishop of Washington, D.C., on Friday morning.

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Viral Video: 'A Scary Time' Song Mocks Trump

Lynzy Lab's song takes a jab at comments President Trump made during Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation process about men not being safe.

Lynzy Lab Stewart has become an overnight sensation after releasing her parody song about the #HimToo movement. Lab's video on YouTube has garnered more than 950,000 views.

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UPDATE: Swift Sways an Uptick in Voter Registration That Has Never Been Seen

Taylor Swift's post did more than tick off alt-righters. It motivated newer voters to register in a big way.

REUTERS

Typically, there is an uptick in voting registration that occurs right before elections, but according to Vote.org Chief Operating Officer Raven Brooks, "…this absolutely has been a massive 48-hour period for us and I would attribute it in large part to her. We would've had elevated traffic from normal because of registration deadlines happening this week, but this is an order of magnitude greater than anything we've seen to date."

In the first 24 hours after Swift's post, the site had 155,940 visitors — a leap from the 14,078 average daily visitors. Sixty-five thousand new registrations, mostly ages 18-29, in that one day resulted. The number of registrations climbed to over 200,000 since Sunday.

By comparison, the group said 56,669 new voters registered in August and 190,178 registered in September. In October 2016, there were 405,149 new registrations on Vote.org for the whole month.

In the 36 hours after Swift's post, Tennessee tracked 2,144 new voter registrations, bringing the total up to 7,554 in October — a large increase from 2,811 registrations in September and 951 in August.

"One thing is clear, we're seeing a massive surge in the 18 to 24 and 25 to 29 voters, which is her fan demographic. The 18 to 24 number almost doubled overnight," Vote.org spokesperson Kamari Guthrie said. "Taylor Swift's visibility on this issue is driving a lot of coverage of voter registration, and it's reaching many of her fans who would not otherwise be following news like this."