‘You Don’t Live Here’: White Man Confronted Black Man And A Friend In Their Apartment Building In New York City
Last Wednesday Chika Okafor, a 29-year-old producer for the Bleacher Report, was planning to attend a holiday work party. As he and his friend were waiting for a ride in the hallway, Okafor’s friend opened a door for a resident. The resident was carrying several grocery bags, and as the man came through the doors the man said, “‘Who the f— are these guys?'”
Okafor did a double-take at the comment, he tells PEOPLE. “I said to my friend, ‘Did this guy really just say what I thought he said?'”
The man proceeded to set the grocery bags down and confronted Okafor and his friend. That is when they began to record the interrogation with a cell phone.
You can see the interrogation here:
Okafor posted the clip online and has now been viewed more than 1.48 million times. The man has been nicknamed “Hallway Harry,” to a list of racist or racially-tinged confrontations between suspicious white people and their black neighbors who are caught on video.
‘He Owes Us An Apology’
Okafor is not pursuing legal action against Hallway Harry, but he does want an apology.
“At the minimum, I think that he owes my friend and I an apology,” he says.
Okafor told PEOPLE he would also like the man to get evicted from the building.
“His mindset is dangerous and will lead to future altercations,” Okafor says. “He thinks simply because he’s lived in a building for 27 years means he has the right to harass and confront anyone.”
He also says the same man had yet another altercation the same night, a few hours after Okafor and his friend left: “He harassed a couple [a man and woman] and for a while prevented them from entering the building.”
The couple temporarily rented a space in the building through Airbnb, and the man believed that was illegal, The New York Times reports.
He told the couple; “You don’t have an ID to get in this building. You don’t live here.” They called the police, who never came, according to the Times.
‘I’m happy that this guy is getting exposed.’
While Okafor says that the incident still shakes him; “I’m happy that this guy is getting exposed.”
“I’m happy that another incident involving racial profiling is getting some awareness,” he continues. “I think it’s important when these types of incidents happen that they receive some exposure so more people can understand the experiences that people of color go through so that when we do talk about it, the initial reaction is not to doubt or discredit but to seek understanding.”
Next Page: Check out an excerpt from the book, Raise Your Hands If You Have Issues, By Michael Baisden.