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April 4, 2015- By Steven E. Greer
No one can accuse BP.TV of pandering to the cops. We strongly supported the non-violent civil rights protests last year, and have written essays on ways to reduce deadly confrontations with police. However, the recent case of the NYPD detective who was placed on desk duty for verbally dressing down a bad Uber taxi driver has been blown out of proportion by the politically correct press.
The incident began to turn into a national news story when a passenger in an Uber car posted a YouTube video of Detective Patrick Cherry yelling at the driver through the driver’s side window. The filming occurred on the West Side Highway south of 14th Street.
Prior to the sequences in the video, the detective claims that the Uber driver was honking at him as he was trying to park. That is why he approached the driver to explain how he was violating traffic rules. No tickets were issued because the detective stated that he had to go to the precinct for a meeting and that the driver was “not important enough”.
The most controversial part of the video that resulted in the detective being stripped of his gun and badge was when he stated, “How long have you been in this country?”. The white male cop seemed to be acting like a bigot and bully.
While it seems to be fair to conclude that the detective was in the midst of a full-scale road rage meltdown, his actions were actually warranted. The Uber driver could not understand English well enough to interpret what the cop was saying. “How long have you been in this country?” is a valid question.
Last month, a TLC-sanctioned driver from Afghanistan who did not speak English, was in the country for one year, who had poor driving skills, a completely paralyzed left arm, and nine previous license revocations, killed veteran CBS report Bob Simon on the West Side Highway just a mile away from the incident above. He hit the gas pedal instead of the break. The driver survived and it is unknown whether he was charged with murder or any crime at all.
This week, another TLC driver is caught on surveillance camera as his car sped at high speed onto a sidewalk in The Bronx, killing 25-yo Kadeem Brown and 5-yo Tierre Clark, and seriously hurting another woman. It is unknown why the driver lost control. The driver has not been charged.
In 2013, another horrible driver, Mohammed Faysal Himon, somehow licensed by the TLC, jumped the curb in Midtown, pinning 23-yo Sian Green against a concrete wall, amputating her leg. A year later, he was back behind the wheel of a taxi.
These are just a small percentage of the accidents caused by incompetent TLC-licensed taxi drivers in the city each year. For too long, the NYPD has had an agreement with the TLC to not charge cab drivers with violations as they would regular civilian drivers. Moreover, the TLC looks the other way as clearly incompetent drivers are allowed to obtained licenses. The result is a deadly city with yellow torpedoes masquerading as cabs shooting across the streets.
Detective Cherry was justified in his anger with the Uber driver. He was actually too kind to the man. The driver should have been ticketed.
Ideally, Detective Cherry should have been more professional and not cursed. Police need to train officers better at controlling their anger, and remind them that everyone has a video camera. That being said, bad TLC drivers are a serious problem in this city and the NYPD, not the corrupt TLC, needs to be enforcing the laws of the road.