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‘What are you doing in my building?’ Black Manhattan tenant racial profiled by white neighbor

Chika Okafor
Pictured Upper East Side, NYC resident, Chika Okafor.
 Chika Okafor
Pictured Upper East Side, NYC resident, Chika Okafor.

Chika Okafor racially profiled by Hallway Harry: A black man living at an Upper East Side, Manhattan building becomes the latest individual racially profiled by a suspect white America. 

In yet another episode of rampant racial profiling against African Americans at the hands of suspect white America- a black Manhattan tenant has shared a video of him being harassed by a neighbor accusing him of trespassing.

In the video, Chika Okafor, 29 and his friend, who is also black are confronted at the man’s Upper East Side apartment by a white neighbor- who is agitated by their presence- seemingly because the two ‘black’ men are not known residents at the building. Or because of their skin color and the suggestion of what that skin color represents in white America? 

According to the post shared on Okafor’s Facebook page, the two friends were waiting for a Lyft ride last Thursday, December 20, when they were accosted by a white man-since dubbed Hallway Harry– claiming to be a resident in the building.

‘What are you doing in my building?’ the white man is seen asking Okafor in the lobby of an Upper East Side apartment building. ‘You don’t live here.’

The unidentified man, appearing to be in his 50s, wearing a blue baseball cap, with graying hair and a white mustache continues to interrogate Okafor, a producer for the sports website Bleacher Report. 

‘Hallway Harry was entitled to know who I was simply because of his long standing residence.’– But what if Chika Okafor was a white man- would he have been subjected to equal scrutiny? 

Posted Okafor: ‘I was racially profiled in my apartment complex last night.

‘While I was with my friend Cassius Flemming waiting for a Lyft ride on the first floor of the building that I have lived in since mid-December of last year, this man interrogated me about where I live.

‘As you can see, he thought that he was entitled to know who I was and where I lived simply because, according to him, he lived there for 27 years.

‘The arrogance is appalling but honestly, not surprising because far too many times people of color have been victims of this kind of behavior.’

The incident according to a report via The New York Times happened in the lobby of a four story walk up building on First Avenue near 74th Street.

Told Okafor via the nytimes, ‘I felt insulted,’ 

‘I felt violated. To me, his behavior suggested that, one, because we were people of color we were a threat to their safety, and, two, because we are people of color we can’t afford to live in that type of apartment complex.

‘It’s the Upper East Side. It’s considered to be one of the wealthy parts of Manhattan.

‘It’s a nice apartment.’

Hallway Harry
Pictured, Hallway Harry.

Hallway Harry takes umbrage with a white couple: 

Hours after the encounter with Okafor and Flemming, the same ‘white’ man was filmed in another argument with a white couple.

Janah Reynolds, who is visiting New York for the holidays with her husband and two sons, was renting a first-floor apartment in the building through Airbnb.

After arriving from Hong Kong, Reynolds and her husband dropped their bags at the apartment on Wednesday and went out while her mother-in-law watched the children.

When she and her husband returned, the same man refused to let them in.

He told them it was illegal for them to rent an apartment for just a few nights.

New York is one of a number of large cities in the U.S. that have cracked down on Airbnb rentals, though it is not clear if this particular rent was illegal.

In the video, which Reynolds posted as a response to Okafor’s post, the couple is seen arguing with the same man.

They said they called police multiple times while waiting for more than an hour outside before the man finally allowed them inside.

Neither Reynolds or Okafor knew the man’s name. Okafor said he had never seen him before the encounter.

Okafor filed a complaint with the building manager, who declined to get involved.

Instead, Okafor was told to file a complaint with police, though he said he did not plan on doing so.

Okafor is, however, seeking an apology from the man, whom he believes should be evicted.

‘I’m not going to change how I live my life based on this guy’s inappropriate behavior,’ Okafor said. 

Chika Okafor
Pictured, Chika Okafor. Image via Facebook.