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Instacart driver ran over groceries with car, left derogatory note over pro-police sign, couple says

The driver, Tara Olivia Plum, was cited for criminal damage to property, police in Blaine, Minnesota, said.

An elderly couple said their Instacart delivery driver ran over their groceries with her car and allegedly left them a derogatory note because of a pro-police sign displayed in their front yard.

The couple, who live in Blaine, Minnesota, said they ordered food on Dec. 6 from their local supermarket via Instacart, a grocery delivery company.

An elderly couple allege that their Instacart driver ran over their grocery order because of a pro-police sign in their front yard.
An elderly couple allege that their Instacart driver ran over their grocery order because of a pro-police sign in their front yard.Blaine Police Department

When the driver, Tara Olivia Plum, arrived at their house, the couple went outside to help, the Blaine Police Department said in a press release and Facebook statement.

"The driver yelled back at them to check inside of their Christmas wreath," police wrote. "They also reported that the driver was driving back and forth in the driveway. Upon checking inside of the wreath, they located the receipt from the grocery order with a derogatory message. After the delivery driver left they found that their groceries had been run over in their driveway."

The note allegedly stated: “Instacart doesn’t pay employees. Sry [sorry] find another slave racist," according to NBC affiliate KARE of Minneapolis. It also contained the words "police pigs," the news station reported.

Police said Plum was reacting to a sign the couple has in their yard that reads: "Thank you Blaine P.D." with the letter O replaced with a heart filled with the “Thin Blue Line” flag.

The "Thin Blue Line" flag is viewed by some as a sign of support for law enforcement while others see it as a symbol of white supremacy or a rebuke of the racial justice movement.

Amber Gray, who said she is a relative of the couple, said in a GoFundMe post that the couple put up the sign to show support for Blaine police.

"Supporting law enforcement doesn’t make you racist. And it absolutely doesn’t give anyone the right to destroy your things or shatter your sense of safety," Gray wrote.

Plum, 36, of Coon Rapids, was cited for criminal damage to property. Police said the incident did not classify as a hate crime because the "facts of this case do not meet the elements required for an enhancement to a hate crime."

An Instacart company spokesperson told NBC News in a statement Wednesday that they are "appalled" by what happened and Plum has been removed as a driver.

"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," the spokesperson said.