Women driving on I-84 in Pennsylvania several days ago noticed a man inside a horse trailer, his hands on a screen window staring out. Stunned, one took video of the trailer with the man inside visible, and surrounded by horses, and posted it to Instagram. When she pans to the trailer driver, he gives them the middle finger. The driver appears to be alone in the front seat of the trailer cab.
According to journalist and activist Shaun King who posted the video on Twitter, the man appears “dazed.”
What is noticeable is the man has very long and seemingly curled fingernails, which King points out.
“I need answers. This was filmed in NY, but the trailer has NJ plates. Something’s off. So many peculiar things going on here.
The Black man riding in the horse trailer seems confused and distant. His finger nails. The driver giving the middle finger.”
One person, in response to King’s post, said, “In LARGE commercial horse hauling operations (semi trucks with box stalls), there is an attendant in the trailer to watch over the horses. In this size rig, no, it is not legal. Also, that window is weird. I think it is an enlarged widow with the wire and wood…The wire wood window is not a side loading ramp or an escape door. Wrong place. So very wrong and bizarre.”
The woman taking the video, who is from Toronto according to her social media, captured the license plate number. King often posts videos of people of color being physically or verbally attacked and then asking followers on Facebook and Twitter to help identify the person. This is a whole different kind of video.
In updates on Instagram, the woman, whose handle is ‘sommealien,’ said that she “called about three different police stations to find out if they tracked down the trailer. After numerous phone transfers, I was told that there was indeed no sign of the truck found on the I- 84 interstate. VERY STRIKING considering the fact that prior to the incident, I witnessed several cop cars patrolling the highway. However, I was told that they would “BE ON THE LOOKOUT” for it. I’ll continue to follow up with them for any new information. But if anyone knows anything or anyone that can help, DM me. TAG everyone that would be able to push this to any media outlet. Share. Repost. GO!”
But a number of people have said that while it may appear cruel or criminal, it’s done.
The commenter said they’d “hate to be that person” but that the practice is common “…in the horse world (esp. racing) this isn’t abnormal. It’s obviously strange now days but it used to be that an important horse went nowhere without a groom in the box(trailer) and particularly because this is an older black gentleman, I’m guessing that he is just keeping up an old tradition. The thing is locked because well, He’s back there taking care of the horses and nobody else needs to be in there. Those people driving are probably a transport company, and he belongs with the horses. So it’s likely that even the drivers are unwelcome to interact with the horses. Yes it’s weird, yes it’s dangerous, and nobody really does it anymore, but it’s not trafficking …though on a side note good for you for you for noticing something out of the norm, because if it were an issue it didn’t go unnoticed.”
The next update was that despite alerting police, nothing has been done. And, she wanted to clarify, she said. And, since she first posted the video, she’s been attacked by some on social media for either not doing more to help by, for example following the trailer, or, complaints that she alleged this may have been an incident of human trafficking.
But judging by the comments, most people applaud her for trying to do something by sharing the video and updates.
But there were comments by some who said not only was it not trafficking, it’s a common practice and the reason for the video and attention has to do with race.
“…First of all if it were HUMAN TRAFFICKING none of you would know or see him. And if so, do u really think the driver would be nice enough to give him air and a window to sit by??? Idiots! Also, many times I’ve seen someone sitting in the back carriage with the horses while someone drives and I live in NJ! The only issue you fucktards have is that the passenger is black and the driver is white! He flipped them off cuz if you PAY ATTENTION hes trying to switch lanes and the ignorant folk recording and making something out of nothing are blocking him! I hate people I swear!”
But others say quite to opposite: “Oh of course! Let this had been Becky with the good hair the whole highway would have been shut down with the help of the FBI. They don’t care when it’s us!”