A company spokesperson for UPS told NBC News on Tuesday that one of their drivers had been terminated after he went on a racist rant while delivering packages to a Latino household in Milwaukee just days before Christmas Day.
On the evening of Dec 17, a video caught by the home doorbell camera showed a white man wearing a UPS uniform while standing on the porch holding a package and writing what appeared to be a “failed to deliver” notice.
The UPS driver is seen saying, “Now you don’t get f—— nothing…You can’t read and write and speak the f—— English language,” as he posts the notice onto the home’s door.
Unfortunately for the driver, a young Latino officer lived there.
Shirley Aviles, the Latino officer’s mother, told NBC News by phone: “UPS is huge, they’re global, and this serves for any other businesses that are delivering packages, you can’t do that. You can’t just look at a package and make these crazy assumptions.”
Due to privacy concerns, the name of the terminated UPS driver is not being disclosed.
On Tuesday, the Latino advocacy groups ‘Forward Latino” President, Darryl Morrin, organized a press conference on behalf of the Latino officer and his mother. The young police officer, who was not identified, was not at the press conference.
“The only information this driver had that could serve as a trigger for this deep-seated hate was the name on the package,” Morin said during the press conference. The last name on the package was Aviles.
The digital logs from the video doorbell camera were shared with reporters by ‘Forward Latino,’ did not show the UPS worker ringing the doorbell when he arrived to deliver the packages to the Aviles household. Morrin noted that there was also no evidence that the worker even knocked on the door.
“The package was a Christmas gift that we eventually received after Christmas Day, but what if it happened to have time-sensitive content like an EpiPen or a book I needed to take a final,” the police officer’s mom said. “I don’t get it. It’s just sad.”
Morrin Added, “So what we have here is a very intentional act to ruin Christmas for somebody, for someone to spew this hateful rhetoric, and quite honestly to deceive their employer.”
Matthew O’Connor, senior manager of media relations at UPS, said in an email that the company “immediately contacted the family to offer our deepest apologies when we learned about this incident.” He said, “There is no place in any community for racism, bigotry, or hate. This is very serious, and we promptly took action, terminating the driver’s employment. UPS is wholeheartedly committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion.”
On Tuesday, the Aviles family learned about the UPS driver’s termination following the press conference. However, Aviles said, “this is bigger than just ‘hey, I’m sorry, he’s been fired, and we apologize.'” She explained, “This is about the things people do when they think no one is watching them. That’s important because that’s when you see people’s true colors, and that’s what’s scary.”
Many racially charged incidents have shaken the Milwaukee community as of late.
Aviles and Forward Latino are urging UPS to “make greater investments” in anti-bias and inclusion training.
O’Conner said that UPS drivers go through a “professionalism and anti-harassment training” when hired for the position. The company also donates to multiple causes and scholarship funds through the UPS Foundation.
UPS is the single largest employer in the Teamsters Union. However, “this is a personnel issue that the local union does not have a comment on,” a Teamster spokesperson said in an email.