In the latest case of “(insert innocuous task) while Black,” a white woman is seen threatening to dial police on a UPS worker delivering packages to her neighborhood, calling the man’s behavior “suspicious.”
The tense exchange was caught on video and shared to social media, where it has since gone viral. Instagram user Nedrick Peters (@nhcrashon) posted the clip Wednesday, capturing the moment a woman walked from her home to accost him on the job.
“I’m gonna need somebody’s information to check up on you because I don’t understand why you’re walking around this neighborhood with a bunch of packages on a dolly,” she’s heard saying.
When Peters complains that the woman is “bothering” him, she claims his presence is “suspicious and making me nervous.”
“What? I’m making you nervous?” Peters asks facetiously. “This is crazy.”
The woman then tries to explain away her discomfort, saying there have been a number of car break-ins in the area lately, her car among them.
“And so, it’s a really big thing in this neighborhood for people to walk down the street for vandalism,” she adds, “so … I need you to give me your boss’s name.”
When Peters refuses, the woman proceeds to ask for his name. He declines. The two continue going back and forth with the lady threatening to follow him for the remainder of his package route.
“Yo, this lady is crazy, yo,” he says.
“Like I said, you look very suspicious and I’m trying to tell you you need to at least be able to tell people who you work for,” the woman argues.
At this point, Peters flips the camera around to show his work jackets stitched with the UPS logo. He then pans the camera down to his dolly, which is loaded with dozens of packages still needing to be delivered.
The woman, who’s accused of filming and snapping photos of the package handler, briefly disappears into her home then reemerges with her phone in hand, threatening to call the police. That’s when a co-worker of Peters’, who is white, quickly intervenes.
“No no no, he’s my helper,” he’s heard explaining before the video ends.
The video sparked plenty of reactions online, most of them from angry critics who lauded Peters for keeping his cool.
“@UPS give this man a raise for how well he dealt with hostile work conditions,” one online user wrote.
“Literally a hate crime. Look how she acted when the WHITE man in the same uniform shows up. No questions or anything about who he is,” another user commented.
One user urged Peters to “please take legal action. Harassment clear as day. Sorry you had to go through that mate.
UPS addressed the controversy in a statement to Atlanta Black Star, saying: “We are aware of the video and are investigating the incident. We’ll defer comment until we are able to talk with the involved parties.”