A black delivery driver was held against his will inside a gated community by white homeowners, a now-viral video shows.
Travis Miller, a home appliance and furniture delivery driver, was making a delivery in the Ashford Hills neighbourhood of Oklahoma City on Monday, May 11, when he was blocked from leaving.
A man claiming to be the president of the neighbourhood’s homeowners’ association (HOA) parked his car in front of Miller’s vehicle, demanding to know how he had gotten inside the gated community.
Watch footage of the incident in the KFOR News report below:
Miller shared his ordeal on Facebook Live in a video that’s now been watched more than 426,000 times, with himself and many others who commented underneath the video believing the incident to be racially motivated.
The nearly 40-minute-long video shows the delivery driver having to justify his presence in the area, with the man – who identifies himself as David Stewart in the video – repeatedly asking Miller why he was in the gated community.
As he did this, he walked back and forth between Miller’s truck and a white car, which had been parked in front of the truck so Miller couldn’t drive forward.
Another man then joined Stewart, asking to know why Miller was in the neighbourhood, to which he responded: ‘It’s none of your business. I’m going out, that’s where I’m going.’ Miller later told KFOR News he refused to tell the men the names of the people he dropped packages off to in the neighbourhood to protect his customer’s personal information.
Despite repeatedly pointing out he clearly had the gate code, which he needed to get into the neighbourhood and which had been given to him by his customer, both men refused to move. Instead, they said they had called the police.
When Stewart asked Miller, ‘You do realise this is private property, right?’, Miller responded: ‘You do realise this is unlawful detainment, right? You have absolutely no reason and no right to hold me here.’
‘I own 1/18th of what you’re sitting on,’ Stewart told him. ‘This street is property. This street is maintained by the people that live here. This is private property.’
When Stewart tried to tell Miller he was simply helping him, the delivery driver responded:
And apparently one of the people that lives here gave me a gate code. You’re not helping me, you’re being nosy that’s all you’re doing. You’re trying to use privilege and you’re not getting it from me. Just move your car, unlawful detainment.
The whole time, Miller remained in his truck with his seat belt on, later telling KOCO: ‘I knew if I get out this truck, no matter what happened, I would have been in the wrong. I always say to myself, “I’m going to go home to my wife and my kids”.’
He told KFOR News it was ‘hard to maintain restraint’ emotionally, ‘especially when I’m dealing with death in the family’. Two of his family members recently died within two days of each other, with Miller saying he ‘just did the best [he] could to not make a bad situation worse’.
Eventually, after around 30 minutes, Stewart moved his vehicle out of Miller’s way, with the delivery driver saying: ‘I guess they must have contacted the customer and the customer came around and they spoke for a minute and he moved out the way.’
A tearful Miller then called police himself, telling them what had happened to him and making sure it was safe for him to leave the area, after which he was able to leave the gated community.
Hopefully Stewart will have learnt his lesson from this completely uncalled for incident, but even so that won’t make up for the hurt felt by Miller.
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