Man blocks black delivery driver in Oklahoma neighborhood
A black delivery driver was brought to tears while recording himself and a black co worker as they were blocked from leaving a gated Oklahoma City neighborhood for nearly an hour by a white resident who demanded to know why they were there.
Travis Miller, who delivers home appliances and furniture, captured the incident Monday in a Facebook Live video that has gone viral. The 37 minute video had nearly 300,000 views by Thursday evening and had been shared more than 10,000 times.
Miller, 42, told NBC News that his customer in Edmond gave him the code to get through the neighborhood’s gate. After completing the delivery and as they were trying to exit, a man who identified himself as David Stewart and a board member of the homeowners’ association can be seen on the video questioning Miller and his co worker about why they were on his street.
A man by that name could not be reached for comment Thursday.
Miller said in the video that he was trying to make a U turn and that as he turned around, the man was blocking him in with a white Subaru.
“If I go around him, I’m going to have to drive on somebody’s property and I don’t want to make a bad situation worse,” Miller said in the video.
Miller repeatedly asked the man to move the car.
“I’m not moving,” the man said. “All you have to do is tell me where you’re going.”
Miller refused, saying he did not have to tell the man anything.
Miller said Thursday that he kept his seat belt on, remained in the truck and recorded the encounter to protect himself and his colleague.
“My intention was never to go viral,” Miller said in a phone interview Thursday.
“All we want to know is why you’re in here and who gave you the gate code,” the second man said. “That’s all we need to know.”
After Miller refused to reveal his client’s personal information, the man who identified himself as Stewart said he was calling police.
At one point in the video, Miller can be seen with tears streaming down his face. He wipes his tears away with a blue bandanna before he, too, calls police.
The man who initially approached Miller can be seen in the video calling police to withdraw a report after he got in touch with Miller’s customer.
Miller said he also called Edmond police to make sure the man had withdrawn his report.
Miller said his customer defused the situation by telling the two men to move.
“He said he was sorry it happened,” Miller said. “He said those guys are overprotective of the neighborhood.”
Capt. called back about 30 minutes later and cancelled the report. by a man who said he wanted to know if it was OK for him to leave the property.
Withrow said that in order for police to investigate the incident, a complaint would need to be filed. No one has reported the incident as of yet, he said.
Miller was wearing a uniform with his name in white letters above the left breast pocket. He said his employer’s name was on the driver’s side and the passenger door of the truck, as well as on the rear of the vehicle. He said he cannot understand why the two men felt their behavior was justified.
“I don’t know what gave them that sense of entitlement and why they felt it was OK to block me in,” he said.
## ## The encounter made an already difficult time worse, said Miller, who is grieving the loss of his grandmother and an aunt who recently died a day apart of natural causes. He said he is taking comfort in the kindness he has been shown by strangers online.
“People of all races, shades of life, have either commented on the video, shared the video or messaged me on Facebook and said, ‘I don’t know if you’ll ever see this, but I want to applaud you for how you responded,'” he said. “It makes me feel good knowing that being humble and showing restraint touched many other people.”