VIDEO: NYPD Officer Abuses Uber Driver in Xenophobic Rant

In a video uploaded to YouTube yesterday afternoon, a New York Police Department officer launches a profanity-filled, xenophobic tirade against an Uber driver. Officer Patrick Cherry, a detective in the joint terrorism task force, spends a full three minutes berating the rattled driver, who appears unsure why Cherry is so upset.

According to Sanjay Seth, one of the passengers in the Uber car who recorded the video on his cell phone, the officer was at fault. The driver honked at Cherry, who was attempting to park his vehicle on a busy West Village street without signaling or using hazard lights. Moments later, Cherry gets out of his unmarked car and approaches the Uber driver’s window. 

“Stop it with your mouth, stop it with your, ‘For what, sir,’” he yells at the driver. “You understand me? I don’t know what fucking planet you think you’re on right now.”

The driver repeatedly tries to diffuse the situation with respectful apologies, to no avail. Cherry continues making jabs at the driver's ethnicity, mocking his accent and English skills.

“How long have you been in this country?” he asks. “Almost how long? Two years? I got news for you and use this lesson: 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.”  

Seth and his fellow passenger were dismayed by the incident, publishing video of the exchange on Facebook and other social media outlets. According to NBC News, Seth wrote on his Facebook page, “Our Uber driver, Humayun, was abused by a police officer today in New York. The 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.”

Review of the incident, which was initially being investigated by the NYPD’s internal affairs department, has since been turned over to the Civilian Complaint Review Board, an independent city body with subpoena power.

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