Firing of Wantagh pizza deliveryman after alleged racist text puts handling of hate in focus

Over the weekend, Lashae Jerry got a text she wasn't expecting. She says it came from a driver for I Love Pizza in Wantagh after the food was nearly two hours late and she decided not to tip.

News 12 Staff

Mar 29, 2021, 9:17 PM

Updated 1,202 days ago

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The frequency of and the handling of a situation that may be fueled by racism is under the microscope after a deliveryman was fired in the wake of a Massapequa woman's allegations that he sent her a hateful text.
Over the weekend, Lashae Jerry got a text she wasn't expecting. She says it came from a driver for I Love Pizza in Wantagh after the food was nearly two hours late and she decided not to tip.
Jerry had been spending the day with family in Wantagh Park when she then got a text that read, "Black Lives matter but URS doesn't. U (expletive) get outta Wantagh."
"I was upset, I mean I started crying, I feel very disrespected, I felt like it was discrimination," says Jerry.
Jerry and her mother Monique Hawkins then confronted the store owner on social media. The owner says he apologized, offered a refund and fired the driver on the spot. Police later arrived and took a report.
"This is a hate crime and she does want a further investigation," says Hawkins.
Just how often do text messages or other forms of harassment happen? Civil rights activists say you might be surprised.
"These things are happening all the time, it just that they don't necessarily have the same level of attention," says Elaine Gross, of ERASE Racism.
Gross says acts of racism happen on a daily basis whether in housing discrimination, voting or even hate crimes. She says in this case, the victim did the right thing and complained to the owner and the owner acted swiftly and appropriately. She says filing a police report and possibly contacting civil rights organizations is also a good idea.
"Please speak up, please don't let that kind of behavior go unnoticed and recognized," says Gross. "It's not something to be ignored or swept under the rug."
News 12 has reached out to the pizza delivery driver for comment, but could not get in contact.
Nassau police say it is conferring with the DA's office to see if further action is warranted.


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