Payton posted her experience on Twitter, saying the man in the car behind her got out of his vehicle, held up a watermelon and made monkey noises in her direction in the Walgreens pharmacy drive-thru:
"It's not the first racist thing that's ever happened to me. I'm 35 years old. There's been many times in my life that I've had to deal with racism," Payton said through tears. "But just today, with everything, something just broke. It's ridiculous that people have to put up with this all the time, every day, and you just deal with it. You deal with it, and you go.
"And it happens everywhere. We just have to be better. It's people like that man, who was behind me in my car, that is the reason things are going on today. People like that. It's the reason there's a problem. We just have to be better."
It's unclear if Payton reported the man to Walgreens, and he has not been identified. Payton continued her Twitter thread by calling on humanity to be better.
"Humanity MUST do better. Everyone deserves better," Payton tweeted. "I was harassed by someone waiting in line at my Pharmacy today because of the color of my skin—with everything happening in the world right now I am grasping for words.
"Please watch & share my story, as I am not the only person experiencing events like this on a daily basis. We must end these inexcusable acts of hate in the world and continue to spread awareness so our children live in a brighter + kinder world. Please love on your neighbors."
Protests have been ongoing in Chicago for days, sparked by the killing of George Floyd while in police custody in Minneapolis on May 25. Officer Derek Chauvin has been charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter after kneeling on Floyd's neck for more than eight minutes while apprehending him. Floyd was not resisting arrest and told Chauvin he could not breathe on several occasions.
Video of Chauvin choking Floyd made national headlines and led to protests, which began in Minneapolis and spread nationwide, of police brutality and racial discrimination.
Two pathologists have ruled Floyd's death a homicide.