On Monday, Uber passenger Sanjay Seth posted a YouTube video, seen above, which appears to show a New York Police Department officer arbitrarily pulling over and berating an Uber driver, who happens to be a recent immigrant to the United States. The officer was reportedly angry at the Uber driver for a hand gesture he made in an effort to get the officer, who seemed to be needlessly blocking traffic while parking on the side of the road without using a blinker, to pull aside and let him pass.
New York Daily News notes that Seth wrote on Facebook, “Our Uber driver, Humayun, was abused by a police officer today in New York… The unending rage, door slamming, throwing items into the car, threatening arrest without cause was bad enough — but the officer’s remarks at the end really took it to another level.”
Near the end of the video, the officer can be heard saying, “I don’t know where you’re coming from, where you think you’re appropriate in doing that; that’s not the way it works. How long have you been in this country?” When Humayun indicated that he had been in the US for two years, the officer continued, “Two years? I got news for you, and use this lesson — remember that in the future. 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 is not important enough to me. You’re not important enough.”
The officer can be heard swearing at Humayun throughout the video, despite the fact that the Uber driver apologized repeatedly and said very little throughout the encounter. Though the officer did not identify himself, Sanjay Seth wrote down his license plate number and noted that the officer’s patrol route appeared to belong to NYPD’s 6th Precinct.
An official with the New York Police Department issued a statement on the incident to New York Daily News, which said, “We are aware of the incident and video and it is under review with the department’s Internal Affairs Bureau.”
Uber representative Matt Wing commented on the incident as well and said, “We are disheartened by the officer’s behavior, and we appreciate the NYPD investigating the incident.”