The New York City Police Department says it’s reviewing a video posted to YouTube Monday that appears to show an officer berating an Uber driver in a xenophobic, profanity-laced rant.
“Stop it with your mouth, stop it with your ‘For what, sir, for what, sir,’ stop it with that bullsh*t,” the plainclothes officer screams while mocking the driver’s accent.
Then, before slamming the cab driver’s door and walking back to his unmarked police car, the officer screams, “I don’t know what f***ing planet you think you’re on right now.”
The video appears to have been filmed on Manhattan’s West Side Highway in the West Village. According to the YouTube description from passenger Sanjay Seth, the incident occurred in the NYPD’s 6th Precinct.
“Our Uber driver, Humayun, was abused by a police officer today in New York,” Seth wrote on Facebook Monday. “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.”
Although the officer alleges the driver committed three traffic violations, Seth says that wasn’t the case.
“In an unmarked car, the policeman was allegedly attempting to park without using his blinker at a green light,” reads Seth’s YouTube description. “(His reverse lights weren’t on. Likely double parked without hazards on.) The Uber driver pulled around and gestured that he should use his blinker, casually and non-offensively, and kept driving us. The policeman aggressively pulls up behind us and this is what happens.”
Seth or the other passenger in the backseat can be heard telling the driver in the video that this is “an abuse of power, obviously.”
“This guy is just a dick, to put it mildly,” one of the passengers says.
When the officer returns to the car, the driver briefly attempts to explain why he honked his horn. The officer becomes angry.
“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,” the officer screams. “How long have you been in this country?”
“The only reason you’re not in handcuffs and going to jail and getting summonses in the precinct is because I have things to do,” the officer adds near the end of the video. “That’s the only reason that’s not happening. Because this isn’t important enough for me. You’re not important enough.”
The officer then hands the driver a ticket and marches back to his car.
“Can you take his license plate number please?” the driver asks his passengers.
“I got his plate,” one of the passengers responds.
In a statement Tuesday, the NYPD said “We are aware of the incident and video and it is under review with the Department’s Internal Affairs Bureau.”
Matthew Wing, a spokesman for Uber, told The Huffington Post in a statement that the company is “disheartened by this officer’s behavior and appreciate the NYPD investigating the incident.”
“We have reached out to the driver to provide any support he needs,” Wing said.