Erica Walker, a Tennessee apartment manager, is accused of discriminating against an African-American couple on July 4 by allegedly calling police after confronting a man about wearing socks in the pool.
The incident is but the latest in a string of cases throughout the United States in which African-Americans allege that they were subjected to humiliating treatment – in some cases with the police being called – for doing everyday things. You can watch video of the Mud Island, Tennessee pool incident below. Mud Island is a peninsula that is located in downtown Memphis and juts out onto the Mississippi River.
Here’s what you need to know:
Camry Porter Posted Video to Facebook, Where It’s Been Viewed Thousands of Times
Camry Porter, a Memphis native, posted the video and account to Facebook, where it has been viewed thousands of times. She says the incident occurred on July 4, 2018 at the Riverset Apartments in Memphis, Tennessee. She goes by the name Kam Porter on Facebook.
“To anyone that personally know me, knows I NEVER make things a race issue. I honestly feel like it’s enough of that going on. Throughout my years I’ve ran across white people who were openly racist and I’ve known white people who truly saw no color,” the post begins.
“But on today, THE 4TH OF JULY, I was apart of something that truly hurt and angered me to my core.
I went to the pool in my apartments at about 12/1230 hours with my boyfriend and 2 god babies. When we walked into the main pool area we were the ONLY black family…. Cool. No problem. As I said, things like that have never phased me. While getting settled I noticed this woman constantly watching us and whispering amongst her friends, but AGAIN, I didn’t care.
My boyfriend sat on side the pool with his feet in the water (with socks) while watching the babies play in the water. The woman that I had previously observed watching us then closely walked up and said something to him. I heard him state, ‘ok’ and he continued watching the babies. Not even 2 minutes later the woman walks up to him again and state, ‘You need to take off your socks. I’m the property manager.'”
In the video, Walker gives some of her side as a police officer talks to her and Porter. “You can’t dunk them in the water, that’s what I was saying,” she says in the video. She also says that people can wear hats – if they don’t dunk them in the water.
Porter Alleges Walker Told Her Boyfriend ‘You Can’t Wear Socks in the Pool’
The post by Porter continues to detail the allegations. “My boyfriend states, ‘ok’ and again keeps watching the kids. But at this time I felt the need to interfere being that I am the resident here,” she wrote.
“I asked the woman what was the problem. She stated, ‘you can’t wear socks in the pool. The rules are only pool attire *as she points at the pool rules*’ She goes on to say, ‘no socks, tshirts, hats, or things of that nature are allowed in the pool.’ HER EXACT WORDS! I then notice that there are two guys in her group of friends and BOTH have on hats. Also, the other 25+ people around who don’t have on ‘proper swimming attire.”
The post continues, “I asked her what was her name and who was she….. I mean I feel like it’s only right that you let me know. Even a police officer still has to legally identify themselves when they pull you over; therefore, I saw no problem in me asking her can she show me some kind of identification to verify that she was the property manager. Her response was, ‘I’m not about to go back and forward with you. You all need to leave.’”
Porter concluded, “I work too hard to pay this rent to NOT be able to enjoy the amenities offered so, NOPE I REFUSE. She then states, ‘I’ll just call the police.’ 😳😳😓 SMH.”
The Police Showed Up to the Pool
Porter wrote that the police showed up. “I’m very upset at this moment but I keep my composure……I just couldn’t believe I was in that predicament…..😔 I stand my ground though. I inform her that she can call whoever she wants, but I’m not leaving. I pay rent and live here just like the other 25+ people who were there,” she alleged.
She wrote that “20 minutes later, a Memphis Police Officer show up…He listens to both sides. Y’all this woman says that I disturbed the peace and made a scene by recording her. She stated I DISTURBED THE PEACE!!? Y’all I was LIVID!!!! But I was even more HURT! We all have seen those disgusting videos, but I had never been involved in some mess like that. By this time there are about 35+ people at the pool, all white.”
She then added, “Against my internal need to stand up to the situation, I chose to leave. ERICA WALKER RUINED MY DAY. SHE SAID NOTHING TO THE OTHER PEOPLE THAT WHERE NOT IN *PROPER POOL ATTIRE* BUT CHOSE TO SAY SOMETHING ONLY TO US, THE ONLY BLACK FAMILY OUT THERE. MIND YOU THE ONLY ISSUE THAT SHE HAD INITIALLY WAS HE SIMPLY DIDN’T TAKE OFF HIS SOCKS AS SOON AS SHE ASKED. MEANWHILE THERE ARE PLENTY OF MEN, WHITE MEN, WALKING AROUND WITH HATS AND BASKETBALL SHORTS INSTEAD OF SWIMMING TRUNKS! THIS LADY EVEN TOOK IT TO THE EXTREM OF CALLING THE POLICE SMH. I literally hate that I’m sitting up here have to say this black and white crap🤦🏽♀️😔 But this is my day, and this is how it went.”
The Apartment Complex Ended Walker’s Employment
Trilogy Real Estate Group told WREG-TV that it was investigating the incident, saying: “Riverset Apartments takes Ms. Porter’s allegations very seriously. We do not support discrimination of any kind.” The statement was also posted on Facebook.
A few hours after the television station reported the story, the company “sent another message stating the manager in the video had been fired,” WREG-TV reported.
Riverset Apartment Homes also posted a series of statements on Facebook. “To confirm, Ms. Walker was terminated immediately after we completed our investigation yesterday afternoon. She will never be employed by Trilogy Residential Management, LLC or any of its properties in the future,” read one. “After assessing statements from Ms. Porter and determining that this former employee’s actions violate our company’s policies and beliefs, she is no longer employed by Riverset Apartments.”
The Yelp page for the apartment complex now contains negative comments referring to the incident.