When a white Californian couple decided to follow a Black delivery driver on the suspicion he was speeding, they probably didn’t think it would end in criminal charges for the white people. But sure enough, Julie Walrand, 35, was arrested on April 18, the same day as the incident, on hate crime, battery, and false imprisonment charges, police said in a news release last Tuesday. Witness video captures the moments after Walrand allegedly followed Kendall McIntosh and screamed racial slurs at him. “During that altercation, the driver used force to prevent the package delivery person from leaving and used hateful language disparaging of people of color,” police said in the release. “Based on the above information, officers arrested the driver on suspicion of PC 236—False imprisonment, PC 242—Battery, PC 415(3)—Using offensive words and PC 422.6(a)—willfully threatening a person based on their perceived characteristics.”
Even though Walrand called 911, McIntosh told KRON4, she started "harassing him" after she and her boyfriend followed him to Delaware Street and McGee Avenue in North Berkeley. “Instantly just started cursing me out like, first sentence I’m getting cursed at,” McIntosh said. “Very derogatory language, you know I was getting constant F bombs thrown at me. I was getting just racially profiled from the jump.” He told the news station that he feared for his safety and that during the encounter Walrand got into his van and tried to take hold of the steering wheel for several minutes.
Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O'Malley told the Fox-affiliated station KTVU that Walrand was released from jail the day after she was arrested and prosecutors haven't decided charges for Walrand yet. O’Malley released a statement promising to seek “unbiased justice” after former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was convicted of murder last month. “The Alameda County District Attorney’s Office will continue to seek fair, just, and unbiased justice for all,” she said. “We join in the national dialogue to combat and end systemic racism that exists in our country. We add our voices in condemning racism, inequities, and bigotry in our criminal justice system.”
McIntosh told KTVU he’s grateful neighbors recorded the interaction. "Without them, it becomes a he-said-she-said battle," he said.
"I was just trying to do my job, and she wouldn’t allow me to,” the driver told KRON. “She closed both double doors in the van I was trying to leave out of.” He added that this isn't the first time something like this happened.
Christopher Welch, 29, was arrested on suspicion of a hate crime after he allegedly followed and threatened to hurt two people walking April 8 in downtown Berkeley reportedly because he thought they were of Chinese descent. “The man and his friend were able to walk into a nearby business for safety and the suspect eventually left the area,” police said in a news release. “Based on the description of the suspect, officers were able to quickly identify the suspect—as they had recently arrested him in the area of Addison Street and Shattuck Avenue for throwing a glass bottle at a passing vehicle.”
McIntosh said of his encounter that he never wanted it to escalate to police involvement. "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," he told KTVU. "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."
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