Officer Michael Doherty was placed on paid administrative leave after he was arrested on Sunday on charges of assault, battery, and using a motor vehicle without authority. According to DigBoston, the veteran cop, who has worked for the Boston Police Department for 16 years, ordered a ride home from the rideshare service Uber, then, upon arriving at what the officer believed was the wrong destination, attacked the driver, forcing him from the vehicle, and stole his car. Officer Doherty reportedly used racial slurs against both the Uber driver and a witness to the incident. The above-embedded video coverage by WCVB Channel 5 Boston notes that Doherty is set to be arraigned on Monday.
A Boston Police Department statement sourced by The Boston Globe indicates that an Uber driver called police at 2:45 AM on Sunday to report that he had been beaten by a passenger and that his car had been stolen. Allegedly, as the Uber driver pulled up to what he believed was the passenger’s final destination, the passenger became angry and claimed that the driver had taken him to the wrong location. The passenger, whom police later determined was Officer Doherty, told the driver, “What, you think I’m stupid, you [expletives deleted],” referring to him with a racial slur against Latinos. The off-duty Boston cop then began beating the Uber driver, causing him to flee his vehicle. The altercation escalated outside the car, as Doherty chased the victim and continued his assault.
The victim flagged down a nearby driver who stopped to help. Officer Doherty then reportedly jumped into the driver’s seat of the Uber driver’s car and fled the scene. The witness who stopped to help the victim then gave the victim a ride and followed Officer Doherty, who eventually exited the Uber driver’s vehicle and turned to confront his two pursuers. Noticing the witness, an African American, who had stopped to help his victim, Doherty reportedly said, “What do you want, you [expletives deleted],” referring to him with the n-word. Doherty then continued his attack on the Uber driver as the witness struggled to stop him. According to BostInno, Massachusetts Port Authority police officers arrived on the scene, and, upon seeing them, Officer Doherty stopped his attack and fled on foot.
Doherty was later picked up and arrested by Boston police. Uber issued a statement about the incident, which said, “Our thoughts are with our valued partner during his recovery… We stand ready to assist law enforcement with their investigation.” Uber says it has blocked Doherty from using its service in the future.