Tag Archives: Road Rage

NYPD Strips Badge from Joint Terrorism Task Force Cop Who Bullied Uber Driver

BenSwann.com previously reported on a road rage incident last Monday involving a then-unidentified New York Police Department detective who snapped on an Uber driver who had motioned for the officer, who was attempting to park on the side of the road in an unmarked car without a blinker and appeared to be blocking traffic, to move aside. The officer reacted to the gesture by pulling over the Uber driver, who happens to be a recent immigrant to the US, and unleashing a profanity-filled, xenophobic tirade, which was caught on viral cellphone video by the driver’s passenger, Sanjey Seth. CBS New York notes that Seth, who was offended by the incident, released the video online and testified on Wednesday before NYPD’s Civilian Complaint Review Board, alleging that the officer violated NYPD’s courtesy and offensive language policies.

The New York Post identified the officer as Detective Patrick Cherry of the elite NYPD-FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force, which operates out of controversial fusion centers and is tasked with investigating potential terror threats in New York City. NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton responded swiftly to the controversy and announced at a Wednesday press conference that Cherry’s badge and gun had been stripped, that he had been placed on desk duty, and that he would be transferred out of his position with the department’s anti-terror division. Cherry, who currently faces 12 other similar verbal abuse related complaints, is under investigation by the Civilian Complaint Review Board and the Internal Affairs Bureau and, if found guilty, faces having misconduct charges listed on his permanent employment record.

NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton said at Wednesday’s press conference, “No good cop should watch that video without a wince, because all good cops know that officer just made their jobs a little bit harder… In that kind of encounter, anger like that is unacceptable. In any encounter, discourtesy and obscene language like that is unacceptable… That officer’s behavior reflected poorly on everyone who wears our uniform.” Commissioner Bratton also extended an apology to the passengers who experienced Cherry’s tirade.

CBS New York notes that Detectives’ Endowment Association President Michael Palladino defended Cherry’s actions, saying he was en route to visit a fellow Joint Terrorism Task Force detective in the hospital at the time of the incident and was under stress. “The past five days have been emotionally draining for the members of the JTTF (Joint Terrorism Task Force) dealing with their fellow detective’s health. Despite what some people think, cops have feelings, too,” said Palladino, whose labor union represents Cherry.

Commissioner Bratton said that the NYPD had been engaging in an ongoing retraining effort to bolster its image in the community and that Cherry’s actions violated new policies. Said Bratton, “We are engaging in a major effort to provide additional training to our personnel on tactics in interaction with the public… That officer’s behavior violated every one of the tenets we are attempting to teach at the police academy in that three-day course that we are currently engaged in.”

NYPD Cop Caught on Video Bullying Uber Driver in Swear-Laden Road Rage Incident

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.”