A Tennessee apartment complex employee has been placed on leave after she was filmed arguing with and cursing at a Black woman resident who tried to enter a swimming pool.
The incident occurred on Tuesday at Knox Ridge Apartments in Knoxville, Tennessee. The Black resident, who has been identified only as royaal_e on Twitter, posted videos of herself arguing with an unidentified white staffer. The white woman stood in a doorway to prevent the resident and two friends from entering the pool area.
The employee told the group only residents were allowed to enter and guests were not allowed. The woman explained she was subleasing the apartment and had been living there since March. As they spoke, a white woman walked into the pool area without being stopped by the employee.
“How you just gon’ let her in and automatically assume I don’t live here?” the Black woman asked.
“’Cause I know everybody that lives here and I haven’t met you,” the employee responded.
The tenant pointed out the optics of her allowing a white person to walk in the door without being questioned.
“Is there a reason that you just assume that I don’t live here? A Black woman doesn’t live here, but you can let that white woman in and assume that she lives here,” she asked.
“It isn’t about that,” the employee replied before repeating she knows every person who lives in the apartment complex. The resident was undeterred.
“It is about that! Clearly, because you see three young women of color walk up to you and we say we’re coming to the pool. And you stop us before we even get into the door,” she stated.
The answer appeared to upset the employee, who proceeded to curse at her opponent.
“B—h, you haven’t come in and done your paperwork,” she said. Despite the profanity, the resident kept her cool. In another video, everyone is standing in an office as the employee writes out her manager’s email address to give to the tenant.
“I can’t believe I was racially profiled at my place, where I live,” the renter said.
The staff member insisted she did not racially profile the group, but the resident stuck to her guns.
“I was! Because when a young Black woman walked up to get in pool, you tell her residents only and you don’t even know me,” she continued.
The employee insisted she was not racist and stopped them because the tenant never visited the office to complete paperwork. The group argued with the staffer for a few more moments before they took the email address and left.
The videos went viral on Twitter and have garnered approximately 160,000 views.
A day after the confrontation, Knox Ridge apartments announced the employee was placed on leave.
“Knox Ridge is aware of the incident that occurred [yesterday] involving a staff member and resident. We have placed the employee on disciplinary leave while we review this matter further,” the complex tweeted.
“As a community, we have absolutely no tolerance for discrimination–inadvertent or otherwise,” the statement continued. “We intend to revisit our training program for all staff, in order to do our part to prevent situations like this happening in the future. Our top priority is ensuring our residents feel at home and welcome.”