Andre Abram and his roommate were getting ready to shoot a video for his YouTube channel last week in Scottsdale, Arizona, when they were confronted by a man who used racial slurs after asking them what they were doing.
He told CNN the man, who has been identified as Paul Ng, was taking their pictures on Friday morning before he approached them and said that they were in “a no n***er zone” during a conversation.
“We were on a public road. We weren’t being loud. We weren’t being belligerent. We weren’t being disorderly,” Abram, who is Black, told CNN on Tuesday.
Abram and his roommate each took video of the incident, which have gone viral on social media — leading to Ng being arrested and fired from his real estate job.
In a text message, Ng told CNN that “although provoked, I should not have responded in that manner.” He said he’s not a racist but reacted poorly.
In the video, Abram can be heard asking Ng, “Why are you coming over here?”
“I just wanted to see what you guys were taking pictures of,” Ng said, to which Abram replied, “Why is that your business?”
Ng said the building behind him was his home and asked Abram about their car’s Michigan license plate. (Abram told CNN that he and his roommate moved to Scottsdale from Detroit five months ago.)
In the video, Ng said that they have had a lot of problems in the neighborhood recently.
“I don’t care,” Abram says. “You don’t know me. Why are you taking pictures of me? And I don’t know you. Do you know a lot of white men are doing racist things in this world, sir?”
Ng then said, “I am a racist” and told Abram “this is a no n****r zone.”
Ng told officers that he felt provoked by Abram’s comment about racists, according to a police incident report.
Abram told Ng that they were going to shoot their video and that there was nothing he could do about it. He asked Ng to back away and said that if he touched either of them he would “lay your b*tch a** down.”
Ng moves away from them and says “you ain’t man enough.”
“When he said those foul words I was in so just disbelief. I was just shocked that I would be going through that,” Abram told CNN about the confrontation.
Abram was angry but said he knew he had to be smart.
“Just because he called me that racial slur does not mean that I can go be physical, because being physical is illegal while him using his First Amendment to say whatever he wants to say is not,” Abram said.
The incident occurred in front of a business and at one point in the video Ng pointed to the building and can be heard repeating that it was “a no n***er zone.”
Police said the owner of the business contacted them after getting multiple negative and threatening comments.
River Trading Post owner Kathi Ouellet told CNN affiliate KPNX that Ng is not connected to the store but lives in a condo upstairs. She said she was shocked by what he said.
“As far as I’m concerned, it was off the charts wrong,” she told KPNX. “Frankly, I found this really shocking. I didn’t expect this from him.”
Ng, 74, told police that he walks around the area every morning and keeps an eye out for any “suspicious individuals,” the report said.
He made comments to an officer about Black Lives Matter and Antifa “and implied that black individuals in the area that do not belong in the area, belong to these groups,” the report said. Ng mentioned a business losing tens in thousands of merchandise in a break-in during protests months before.
Police arrested Ng on Saturday on a disorderly conduct charge for allegedly “using derogatory and racist terminology which later had the propensity to cause escalating violence,” according to the report. He was booked and released.
Russ Lyon Sotheby’s International Realty said that Ng had been an independent sales professional with the company, but was inactive and had not sold a house with them in two years.
“Upon learning of this video we took immediate action in severing his license, terminating his involvement with us effective immediately and condemning his disgusting behavior,” the company said in a statement. “Russ Lyon Sotheby’s International Realty does not, and will not tolerate racism or discrimination of any kind. Period. Never has. Never will.”
The company said it would contact the Arizona Department of Real Estate and recommend his license be revoked.