Cell phone footage has emerged of a plainclothes New York City police officer angrily berating an Uber driver in a profanity-laced, xenophobic tirade over an innocuous parking issue.
The incident, which happened on Manhattan’s West Side Highway in the West Village, was captured by a passenger in the backseat of the Uber car and shows the cop yelling at the driver through the car window.
“Stop it with your mouth, stop it with your, ‘For what, sir?’ You understand me? I don’t know what [epithet] planet you think you’re on right now,” the officer shouted before preceding to mock the Uber driver’s heavily accented English.
The officer then slams the car door and storms away, after which the Uber driver tries to apologize to the passengers who reassured him it’s not his fault and that the incident was being recorded.
The cop then returns to the Uber car and once again starts to belittle the driver, who continues to answer in a mild and respectful tone.
“I don’t know where you’re coming from or where you think you’re appropriate in doing that,” the police yells in reference to an earlier car honk. “That’s not the way it works. How long have you been in this country?”
“Almost how long? Two years,” the Uber driver responded.
“I got news for you, and use this lesson – don’t ever do that again. The only reason you’re not in handcuffs going to jail and getting summonses in the precinct is because I have things to do.
“That’s the only reason that’s not happening, because this isn’t important enough to me, you’re not important enough,” the police officer said.
Sanjay Seth, the passenger who filmed the exchange on his phone, gave details in the YouTube video description.
“In an unmarked car, the policeman was allegedly attempting to park without using his blinker at a green light. (His reverse lights weren’t on. Likely double parked without hazards on.) The Uber driver pulled around and gestured that he should use his blinker, casually and non-offensively, and kept driving us. The policeman quickly pulls up behind us and this is what happens.”
He went on to add that the confrontation occurred just before 2 p.m. in police precinct 6, on March 30, 2015.
The officer has since been identified as Detective Patrick Cherry, who is based out of Federal Plaza in Manhattan, reports the New York Daily News.
A complaint was filed with the police by the Uber driver, and the NYPD assigned the case to the Internal Affairs Bureau, a police source said.
Giving an excuse for the disrespect and racial profiling, Michael Palladino, president of the Detectives Endowment Association, stated that the interaction occurred when Cherry was visiting a fellow detective at NYU Langone Medical Center, who suffered from cardiac arrest.
According to the New York Daily News, Palladino said the detective’s medical condition “has led emotions to run high on the Joint Terrorism Task Force,” which is a unit that combines NYPD and federal anti-terror investigators.
“The past five days have been emotionally draining for the members of the JTTF dealing with their fellow detective’s health,” said Palladino. “Despite what some people think, cops have feelings, too.”
The incident is also expected to be handed over to the Civilian Complaint Review Board, which, according to police sources, will determine if Cherry committed any other wrongdoing.
[Image via YouTube]