San Francisco

Delivery Man in Viral San Francisco Video Speaks Out, Considers Lawsuit

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What happens when class, culture and race collide?

A delivery man serving the Pacific Heights neighborhood in San Francisco is finding out. He filmed a video of an incident in which he says a white man confronted him and demanded identification.

The incident occurred in April when Antonio Chavez says he believes he saw racial inequality and spoke up.

Chavez, who was delivering Narcan to a house, filmed the nearly eight minute interaction with a man who calls himself John. He said John questioned him from a window, before coming down and demanding ID.

John in the video can be heard saying he will call the cops.

"As soon as he said the cops, it's scary, it's scary, I know what they do to people like me," said Chavez, who works for Lost Souls Courier Collective.

Chavez posted the video weeks later and it went viral.

"And I got comment after comment and DM after DM of people like telling me to raise my arms in triumph," Chavez said.

NBC Bay Area reached out to John repeatedly and left notes on his door, but he has not shared his side of what happened that day.

While John's motivation to encounter Chavez is unclear, one expert says the delivery driver's instincts were right.

"I think it was incredibly brave," said Dr. Sherry Wang, a psychology professor at Santa Clara University.

Racism, according to Wang, is not as visible as it once was -- often disguised as implicit bias.

"Every day, casual confrontations and interactions that happen to people of color to let them know you don't belong here," Wang said.

But Wang said racism still weighs on the lives of millions of peple.

"Micro-aggressions are just as and sometimes even more hurtful than overt racism because it happens frequently," Wang said. "It's like little drops of acid that erode your soul."

Chavez is weighing next steps, including a protest on John's doorstep and even a lawsuit.

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