Add "Hallway Harry" to the ranks of white people who take it upon themselves to police the activities of Black people going about their regular lives, along with "BBQ Becky," "Permit Patty" and "Cornerstore Caroline."
This latest viral video shows Chika Okafor, a sports producer at the Bleacher Report, in the lobby of his apartment building in New York City waiting with a friend for a Lyft ride. The two were headed to a holiday party for Okafor's company when an unidentified white man approached, asking what they were doing in the building and which unit Okafor lived in.
While his friend filmed the encounter, Okafor told the man nicknamed "Hallway Harry" he had lived in the building for over a year. The man responded:
"I've never seen you before. I've lived here 27 years."
Okafor, who maintained his composure during the exchange, posted the following to Twitter.
He also added the video.
Apparently, the man wasn't done patrolling the halls. A woman named Janah Reynolds had a run in with the same man, who refused to allow her into the building.
Reynolds commented on Okafor's Facebook post:
Reynolds, who is white, explained that the man had an issue with them temporarily renting a unit through Airbnb. After calling the police numerous time and waiting for over an hour to no avail, the man eventually let them in.
Many folks on Twitter felt the man was out of line for policing the building.
Some were calling for the man to be outed on social media.
Okafor, who sublets the apartment, told the New York Times what he found most upsetting:
"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."
Some people thought the man wasn't necessarily racist but simply annoying for everyone in the building.
A couple of people even felt he was in the right.
But most people believed they knew the real reason he questioned Okafor.
Has "neighborhood watch" gotten out of control?
Okafor has taken the best approach, saying:
"I'm not going to change how I live my life based on this guy's inappropriate behavior."
He plans to renew his lease for another year.