Black man with New York plates told to 'leave' Vermont by white men in pickup trucks
A black man driving near his home in Vermont was told to leave the state by two passing drivers. State police are investigating the incident. The man - who has New York licence plates on his car - was driving with his 11-year-old son when he was flagged down by a pair of vehicles.
He pulled over, thinking the drivers were in need of assistance, but was instead told he was "not wanted in Vermont" and that he should leave the state.
Download the new Independent Premium app
Sharing the full story, not just the headlinesDownload now
The Vermont police filed a report on Wednesday discussing the encounter, describing it as having "significant racial undertones."
The police said though the man was "in fear for the physical safety of him and his son," he was able to escape the encounter unharmed.
The man was unable to provide detailed descriptions of the vehicles, but police believe they were pickup trucks.
"People in Vermont should not have to worry about crimes motivated by hate at any time, let alone when our communities should be pulling together to face an unprecedented situation that affects all of us," Vermont State police director Colonel Matthew Birmingham said. Vermont Governor Phil Scott said he spoke to the man who was told to leave the state.
"I want to be very clear: I have no tolerance for this kind of thing. It's unacceptable.
It does not represent my views or who I believe we are as a state," he said.
While the police believe this encounter was racially motivated, there have been other incidents in which individuals visiting from another state have been stopped at coronavirus checkpoints or asked to return home.
The Washington Post reported that in Florida and Texas, state troopers were requiring motorists from out of state to promise they'd undergo two week self-quarantines before moving freely throughout the state.
In Florida, Rhode Island, and Texas, travellers were also required to provide an address for where they planned to shelter during the pandemic, and to be ready for an unannounced visit from public health officials.