A Miami rapper is the latest victim in the string of incidents where Black people are in the right place but the wrong skin color.
Teiron Robinson, known as Ice Billion Berg, was ousted from his Sunny Isles Beach condo by security on Jan. 27 because they did not think he belonged there.
Robinson came home that Sunday to find two unknown men inside of the OceanView Condo B unit for which he has a lease.
“They initially claimed they came to see to some maintenance issue after questioning if he belonged in his own home,” said Robinson’s attorney, Zedrick Barber. “They then left and returned minutes later but this time as security.”
The Robinson incident adds on to the list of racial profiling incidents that have caused outrage in recent months. Just a month ago in December, Jermaine Massey was kicked out of a Doubletree Hotel at which he was staying in Portland, Oregon. Byron Ragland was doing his job as a court-appointed advocate monitoring a supervised-visit between a mother and a child at a frozen yogurt shop, he was removed by police. A Black Yale student fell asleep in the common area of the dorm in May. Then too, the police were called.
Each time, what was routine for the Black unsuspecting victim seemed threatening for the accuser. Each time the accuser received no consequences for calling the police on people who were not committing crimes.
Robinson, 29, spent his younger days in Liberty City and Miami Gardens. He attended Miami Norland Senior High School and started rapping when he was about 15 years old.
His music reflects on his life in the predominately Black neighborhoods and romantic relationships. In an interview with a former Miami Times columnist in 2015, he talks about cleaning up his lyrics after having a child.
Robinson has released multiple mixtapes and worked with other rappers such as Rick Ross, Ace Hood, Trick Daddy, Trina, Gunplay, Uncle Luke among others. He is a former member of the Dunk Ryders collective and has been referred to as Trick Daddy’s protege.
Oblivious to any issues, Robinson was taking a shower when the two men came back knocking on the door of his condo. He called his realtor.
“They asked him, ‘Are you allowed to be here?’” Robinson’s realtor, Frie Aarestrup told The Miami Times. “Teiron said to them, ‘What do you mean? I live here.’”
Aarestrup advised Robinson to show the men the lease, which was executed on Jan. 10 and he forwarded his client a confirmation email from the association proving that he did the new tenant orientation.
However, the men told Robinson if he did not leave, they would call the police, said the attorney, Barber. Robinson left, and the locks were changed.
It took three days for Robinson to get back into his condo, but only after Robinson, himself called the police for help.
Robinson’s attorney, Barber, plans to sue OceanView Building B Condominium Association Inc. for invasion of privacy, trespassing, wrongful eviction among other claims.
From the time Robinson tried to move into OceanView Building B, Robinson could feel that he was unwelcome.
“The whole thing was sketchy from the beginning. When we first went to look in the building, because he has dreads, he was getting looked at sideways,” said Aarestrup.
It also took more than four weeks to get the condo association’s approval, which is longer than usual, said Aarestrup. He and Robinson called the association every day for three weeks hoping for a response after the Dec. 13 application was submitted.
“We were calling five to six times a piece,” said Aarestrup.
When the realtor finally spoke to someone from the association, he was told the delay was because of the holiday season.
Aarestrup wrote the situation off.
But he said things got uncomfortable again when he and Robinson attended the new tenant orientation.
During the orientation, the assistant property manager, Claudia Nino, kept addressing him instead of his client.
“I was wearing a suit. I am light-skinned with short hair,” said Aarestrup. When Nino found out her mistake. “Her energy sifted,” he said. “She tried her best to stay upbeat.”
The next day, on Jan. 11, Robinson moved into his new home at OceanView Condo B. Things were normal for two weeks.
After being removed from the property on Sunday, Jan. 27, Robinson made several attempts to speak to the condo association. They finally agreed to meet with him on Wednesday, Jan. 30. But after waiting for several hours and getting the run around from staff, Robinson decided to call the police.
“Claudia from the association said that he wasn't allowed to be there,” Aarestrup told The Miami Times. “That’s when I called the other realtor.”
According to Aarestrup, the owner’s realtor, Bileyda Perez, did a conference call with the owner of the condo unit, who lives in Venezuela and a representative of the association. The association tried to get the owner to deny Robinson as a tenant, Aarestrup said.
“They were trying to tell the owner that they don’t think he has the finances to live there,” he said. That’s when Robinson sought legal counsel.
“Perhaps, this is because he’s young, Black and wears his hair locked in a building where most residents don’t look like him,” said attorney Barber.
No one from OceanView Condo B could be reached for comment.
“To date, Mr. Robinson has not been given any explanation as to why he was removed from the premises and why the locks to his dwelling were changed without his consent. This violation of human dignity must not and will not go unchallenged,” said Barber.