On Wednesday June 16, the Alameda County district attorney’s office charged a white woman with a hate crime after she confronted a Black Amazon driver in April and called 911 on him, telling the dispatcher he was “trying to escape” as she tried to prevent him from driving away.
Julie Warland, a 35-year-old resident of Berkeley, California, became upset with the way Kendall McIntosh, a Black, 25-year-old Amazon driver was driving as he delivered packages in North Berkley on April 18. Warland and her boyfriend followed the driver in order to “confront” him.
According to police, Walrand parked beside McIntosh in the van along the street in a way intended to prevent him from driving away. Police wrote that McIntosh tried to drive away to deescalate the situation but was prevented from doing so because Walrand grabbed his steering wheel and hands.
Walrand then called 911 and told the dispatcher McIntosh was “trying to escape.” She also yelled profanities at him. When McIntosh got out of his vehicle Walrand called the man a racial slur and continued to curse at him. McIntosh got back into the vehicle and was able to get away.
When police arrived they told authorities they’d seen an Amazon driver speeding through a neighborhood.
McIntosh later told KRON4 the encounter left him feeling “scared and unsafe.”
“Instantly just started cursing me out like, first sentence I’m getting cursed at,” said McIntosh. “Very derogatory language, you know I was getting constant F-bombs thrown at me. I was getting just racially profiled from the jump.”
He said he’d pulled over and was ending his shift before heading to help another driver when Walrand’s boyfriend stood behind his vehicle as she grabbed his steering wheel.
“His girlfriend also jumped inside my van as I was trying to back up and grabbing onto the steering wheel. She did that two times in a row,” said McIntosh.
He told KTVU the woman told him, “Who the f–k do you think you are?” and “Who do you think you are driving down my street like this?”
He said he was relieved when he saw neighbors stop to record the what was happening.
“What constantly was running through my mind was you know it could be me in handcuffs instead of her so no matter what the situation is, just protect yourself. If you feel like you have to videotape it or anything, definitely do that because I felt like if there wasn’t a video. It wasn’t being recorded, she probably could’ve gotten away with saying this,” said McIntosh.
Walrand has been charged with a hate crime, which is a civil rights violation, and two counts of battery and disturbing the peace. All four charges are misdemeanors.