“This is about the things people do when they think no one is watching them,” said the mother of a young Latino police officer who lives in the house.
A UPS driver who went on a racist rant while delivering a package to a Latino household in Milwaukee several days before Christmas Day has been terminated, a company spokesperson told NBC News on Tuesday.
Video caught by the home’s doorbell camera on the evening of Dec. 17 shows a white man wearing a UPS uniform, standing on a porch while holding a package and writing what appears to be a “failed to deliver” notice.
“Now you don’t get f—— nothing…You can’t read and write and speak the f—— English language,” the UPS driver is seen saying as he pastes the notice in the home’s door. A young Latino police officer lives in the house.
“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,” Shirley Aviles, the mother of the Latino officer who lives in the house, told NBC News by phone.
Due to privacy concerns, the name of the terminated UPS driver is not being disclosed.
The Latino advocacy group Forward Latino organized a press conference Tuesday on behalf of the Latino police officer and his mother, nearly two weeks after the incident, following multiple failed attempts to get UPS to respond, Forward Latino President Darryl Morin said. 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.
Digital logs from the video doorbell camera service provided by the family and shared with reporters by Forward Latino do not show the UPS worker ringing the doorbell when he delivered the package to the Aviles household. Morin added there’s also no evidence that the worker ever 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.”
“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,” Morin said.
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.”
“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,” he said.
The Aviles family learned about the UPS driver’s termination following the press conference Tuesday.
However, Aviles said, “this is bigger than just ‘hey, I’m sorry, he’s been fired and we apologize.'”
“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,” said Aviles, who works at a locally-known social service agency.
The Milwaukee community has been shaken by racially charged incidents. A Peruvian immigrant suffered acid burns to his face in an alleged racist attack back in November 2019. More recently, protests have been growing following the Kenosha police shooting that paralyzed 29-year-old Jacob Blake, a Black man.
Aviles and Forward Latino are urging UPS to “make greater investments” in anti-bias and inclusion training.
UPS drivers go through a “professionalism and anti-harassment training” when hired for the position, O’Connor said. 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 comment on,” a Teamster spokesperson said in an email.