Earlier this month, reports emerged Tesla had terminated an employee at its Fremont, CA, factory over what acting general counsel Al Prescott described as an act of “sabotage” that resulted in the facility’s operations being disrupted for a few hours.
New details have now emerged suggesting the disruption may have been caused by a racial justice protest over the Breonna Taylor grand jury decision.
In his email to Tesla employees, Prescott stated an employee at the Fremont Factory had attempted to “maliciously sabotage” a part of the facility. The acting general counsel did not provide many details about the incident, though he said the quick actions of Tesla’s IT and InfoSec teams helped prevent further damage to the facility. Prescott also said the employee in question was terminated over the incident.
News publication Protocol was recently able to retrieve an email from a Tesla engineer telling several colleagues the disruption of the Fremont Factory was the result of a “peaceful direct action protest” following the grand jury decision to not charge any of the officers involved in the controversial killing of Taylor, a full-time ER technician who was fatally shot in her Louisville, KY, apartment on March 13 by plainclothes officers.
In his email, sent Sept. 30, the engineer noted he wanted to offer a “brief explanation of my behavior that day and how my role at Tesla fits within the broader movement for racial, social and economic justice.” He also asked his colleagues to forward his message to others in the factory “to whom you feel I owe an explanation.”
The engineer shared some of his own experiences with police harassment in his email as well, stating he has been pulled over, handcuffed, stopped and frisked, and even had guns drawn on him.
“I have done a substantial amount of work over the years to heal from those personal traumas. Unfortunately, the events of 2020 have punctured new wounds and old scars. But this is not about me, this is about a system that has little to no regard for Black and Brown bodies. This is about shutting down technocratic oppression in order to open up this nation’s bodily and spiritual wounds,” the engineer wrote.
While the engineer did not directly admit that he was behind the “sabotage” of the Fremont Factory’s operations, he did state in his message that such acts of “protest” usually happen as a way for people to express their pain and confusion.