A black delivery man was held against his will inside a gated community just for doing his job
The advent of the smartphone has given everyone the ability to document acts of discrimination. Now, it seems like there's a new story every week of a black person being harassed by white people for simply going about their day.
In the recent case of Ahmaud Arbery, simply jogging through the wrong neighborhood led to his death.
Travis Miller, 43, a black man who delivers furniture and appliances was held against his will in a private housing development in Oklahoma Metro City, Oklahoma on Monday, May 11. After the delivery, Miller and a co-worker, attempted to exit development when they were stopped by a white man who identified himself as David Stewart, a board member of the Home Owners Association.
Stewart parked his white Subaru in front of Miller's truck so he couldn't leave. So Miller documented the interaction from the seat of his truck.
Black Truck Driver held up and blocked in by White Homeowner Association President in Oklahomawww.youtube.com
"I'm trying to leave, and I got Super Neighbor over here blocking me in, so I'm going live," Mr. Miller said at the beginning of the video. "This is what I'm dealing with right now."
"Got me blocked in so I can't leave," Miller continued. "I want to know where you're going?" Stewart replied.
"It's none of your business, Miller said. "I'm going out. That's where I'm going."
Miller told Stewart a resident gave him the gate code so he clearly had reason to be in the complex. Without a code, he never could have entered.
About 15 minutes into the standoff, Stewart returned with another white man who continued to pepper Miller with questions. Both Miller and Stewart reported the incident to the police and sat in a standoff while awaiting their arrival.
Eventually, the customer Miller delivered the package to spoke with Stewart, and he called the police and told them the situation had been resolved. But Miller was still hesitant to leave the complex.
"He said that he called the cops back and let them know that everything was clear but I didn't want to leave and have it seem like I was fleeing the scene or anything like that," Miller said to dispatch.
Miller posted the video to Facebook where it has been viewed over 600,000 times. Many of the commentators believe that the residents' actions were racially motivated.
"I think things would have gone differently if I was white," Miller said according to the New York Times. "His issue was with the people inside the truck."
Miller's wife agrees. "What my husband went through Monday was some scary, unnecessary, blatant racism, but the outpouring of love and support has been overwhelming," LaShawn Miller, said in a Facebook post on Wednesday. Miller also filed a police report on Saturday, according to Capt. Larry Withrow, a spokesman for the Oklahoma City Police Department.
The video is another example of black people being harassed while simply going about their daily lives. It's also a tribute to Miller who stays relatively calm during the entire interaction. A major reason is probably because as a black man right now—any threat of physical intimidation or outrage—could immediately have jeopardized his very existence, to say nothing of his personal liberties.
"I knew if I get out this truck, no matter what happened, I would have been in the wrong," he said. "I always say to myself, 'I'm going to go home to my wife and my kids.'"
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