The emergence of a video showing an NYPD officer exploding into a tirade and mocking an Uber driver's accent during a traffic stop has triggered an Internal Affairs Investigation.
The New York Daily News reports that the plainclothes officer confronted the driver after he maneuvered around the cop, who attempted to park his vehicle without signaling yesterday in the West Village:
The roadside rage erupted after the cop tried to park his unmarked car without using his blinker, and the Uber driver went around him and gestured to him to use his signal, according to Sanjay Seth, a passenger in the Uber car who posted the incendiary video clip. Seth says in the video that the driver honked at the unmarked car as he passed.
During the officer's rant, which the Daily News described as "xenophobic," the cop repeatedly insulted the driver, all while screaming at him:
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? The officer, who is white, hollered at the driver, according to a video filmed by a backseat passenger.
Moments before slamming the car door and storming away, the hot-headed cop shouted at the driver: I don't know what f---ing planet you're on right now!
According to Sanjay Seth, a passenger in the vehicle who uploaded the video to YouTube yesterday, the driver—who he identified only as "Humayun"—honked at the cop as he passed him. This common occurrence apparently prompted the unbridled fury.
The Daily News reached out to the NYPD, who claimed to have no knowledge of the incident at first. However, a department spokesman later told them that it had been passed along to the Internal Affairs Bureau for review. In addition, Uber informed the Daily News that the company had reached out to the driver and offered any support, if needed.
Update 4/2/15 (10:15 a.m.): The officer in the video has been stripped of his badge and gun and put on desk duty, according to the New York Post. Pending investigation he could end up with a permanent mark on his record. "In that kind of encounter, anger like that is unacceptable," NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton said. "In any encounter, discourtesy and obscene language like that is unacceptable. That officer’s behavior reflected poorly on everyone who wears our uniform."
[via New York Daily News]