Instacart Driver Accused of Running Over Groceries After Seeing Customers' Pro-Police Sign

In Blaine, Minnesota, an Instacart shopper has been accused of purposefully driving over a customer's grocery order. Authorities suspect that the act had to do with a pro-police sign displayed in the couple's yard, which the shopper may have objected to.

The incident has sparked controversy in the community, reflecting the increased tensions nationwide between gig workers and those who rely on the companies that contract them.

According to a Monday press release shared by the Blaine Police Department, the incident occurred on December 6, when an elderly couple ordered a grocery delivery from a nearby Cub Foods via Instacart.

"They reported that once they received notification that the driver was at their house, they decided to meet the driver outside due to the amount of snow in their driveway and being worried that the driver may get stuck if they had to pull into the driveway," explained the statement.

However, "when the couple opened the front door, the delivery driver yelled back at them to check inside of their Christmas wreath." The couple also told police that "the driver was driving back and forth in the driveway."

Inside of the wreath, the couple found the receipt for their order which featured "a derogatory message."

Specifically, according to Fox 9, the message said: "Instacart doesn't pay employees sry find another slave f**k the police racist pigs."

After the driver left the scene, the couple reportedly "found that their groceries had been run over in their driveway."

"After reviewing the context of the written message it appears that the delivery driver's actions were in response to a sign supporting law enforcement that is in the homeowner's front yard," noted authorities.

The statement added that the couple has received a full refund for their order from Instacart. The alleged driver has been identified and is under investigation, "with charges likely in the near future."

Meanwhile, Instacart released the following statement to Newsweek:

"We're appalled by the unacceptable actions of this shopper, who has been removed from the Instacart platform as a result. We've been in direct contact with the customers to refund their order and provide additional resources. We'll continue to provide support to the impacted customers and will also work directly with local law enforcement on any investigations into this matter."

In addition to reacting to the customers' pro-police sign, the driver's alleged note seems to reflect Instacart shoppers' grievances against the company more broadly. In October, Instacart contractors organized a strike in response to diminishing wages and a lack of support from the company in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Instacart doesn't care. It's a revolving door. It's like a sweat factory. They'll put 100 in, fire 10, and put 100 more back in. They are soulless when it comes to their frontline workers," explained one Instacart shopper, Jen, to The Guardian. "It's just not OK. We're human beings and we deserve to be treated like such."

However, because Instacart employs a sprawling army of over a half-million shoppers, workers have very little negotiating power. The strike, which involved only a small fraction of their workforce, was ultimately deemed ineffective.

Explained Willy Solis, an organizer with the Gig Workers Collective (GWC), per Fast Company: "The operational level of Instacart is one that's reached a level that's beyond what we can reach as workers."

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On Monday, an Instacart driver was accused of running over a couple's groceries after seeing a pro-police sign in their yard. A photo illustration featuring the logos for Amazon, Uber Eats, DoorDash, and Instacart. OLIVIER DOULIERY/AFP/Getty Images

Updated 12/14/2021, 12:42 p.m. ET: This story has been updated with a statement from Instacart.