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Instacart driver runs over groceries after seeing pro-police flag

(AP Photo/John Minchillo, File)

The gig economy has introduced many new job opportunities for people, particularly those who own a car and are willing to drive passengers and packages around in their spare time for some extra money. Some have even turned these lines of work into full-time jobs. Uber and Lyft are two of the most common ride-sharing services. For those who prefer a delivery service position, Instacart offers a way for drivers to pick up orders and bring them to the customer’s door, and be paid for their time. But not everyone is cut out for this sort of work, it seems.

That’s probably the case with 36-year-old Olivia Plum of Coon Rapids, Minnesota. She received an order to bring some groceries from the local Cub Foods market to the home of an elderly couple who had phoned in the order. She dutifully picked up the groceries at the market and followed the app’s directions, arriving at the couple’s home with their bags. But that’s when everything went pear-shaped. Ms. Plum noticed a flag at the couple’s house indicating their support for and thanking the local police department, including a Thin Blue Line emblem. To say that Plum reacted poorly would be an understatement. (NY Post)

An Instacart driver in Minnesota ran over an elderly couple’s groceries after she delivered them and called police “racist pigs” on the receipt — because she saw a Blue Lives Matter flag in their driveway, police said…

They stepped outside to meet the driver because they were worried the woman — identified as 36-year-old Tara Olivia Plum — might get stuck in their snowbound driveway, police said.

But rather than thanking the couple, the purple-haired suspect yelled at them to check the Christmas wreath on their front door, where they discovered the offensive holiday message about law enforcement scrawled on their order receipt, police said.

Plum noticed the flag which read, “Thank you Blaine P.D.” The letter “o” in the center was filled in with a Thin Blue Line flag. This was apparently too much for the driver, who scrawled a note about the couple needing to “find another slave” and the words “police pigs” on their receipt, which she attached to their door. Not satisfied with having done that much, she then proceeded to place the couple’s $50 grocery order in the driveway and back over it with her car.

That’s a fairly extreme reaction by any standard, leading me to wonder if that was really the right line of work for her. What would she have done if she’d arrived at the house of a customer who was still flying a Trump flag? Burn the residence to the ground?

Unfortunately for Plum, records are kept of all orders and deliveries. The couple called the police who were quickly able to ascertain her identity and take her into custody. While she has been charged with criminal damage to property, the local Police Chief said that her actions do not rise to the level of a hate crime. Still, if convicted, she could receive up to 90 days in jail and/or a fine. Perhaps the quick action by the police is understandable in this case. If you ever want the cops to respond to your call rapidly, telling them that perpetrator was acting out in response to a Thin Blue Line flag is probably a good way to light a fire under them.

At least Instacart has been trying to do the right thing. They immediately removed Plum from the platform so she won’t be sent to anyone else’s house. They gave the couple a full refund of their money and are committed to proving them with additional resources. They also announced that they are fully cooperating with the police and will do so in any ongoing investigations. So that’s better than nothing, right?

We can’t close without a Facebook picture of the alleged perpetrator, so here you go.

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