California authorities charged a 35-year-old woman with a hate crime for allegedly harassing a Black Amazon delivery driver using racial slurs last month.
Officials said the suspect, Julie Warland, targeted 35-year-old Kendall McIntosh on April 18 while he was out on a delivery run for Amazon in North Berkeley. Warland and her boyfriend allegedly confronted the victim for speeding.
The victim said the two suspects followed his vehicle until his next stop. They then got out of their car and started screaming at him and using the N-word. “Instantly just started cursing me out like, first sentence I’m getting cursed at. I was getting just racially profiled from the jump,” McIntosh said.
During the incident, Warland allegedly jumped into the victim’s van and held the steering wheel to stop McIntosh from leaving the area. “I was just trying to do my job and she wouldn’t allow me to,” McIntosh said.
Video footage of a part of the incident was captured by residents in the surrounding buildings. One clip showed Warland and her boyfriend approaching the victim in front of a truck. The video also captured screaming from the involved parties. Berkeley police said they are considering the incident as a hate crime.
Authorities charged Warland with suspicion of false imprisonment, battery, using offensive words, and willfully threatening a person based on their appearance.
“I initially thought it was just somebody having a bad day. I thought me ignoring her, she goes her way, I go my way. I was scared. I didn’t know how it was going to run out so I thought the best thing to do was leave the situation” McIntosh said, the New York Post reported.
“I never wanted this to happen. I didn’t want to get to this point, but there’s too many incidents out here in America. There’s similar stories like this where there is no video, no recording, and people get away with that type of stuff. It’s just not right,” McIntosh said.
Berkeley City Council Member Ben Bartlett said officials passed legislation last fall that gave residents a hotline to report potential hate crimes. “If you’re a hater, you are not welcome here,” he said.