A YouTube video of a man verbally assaulting an Uber driver has gone viral. The NYPD has since acknowledged that the man is a police officer, although his name is being withheld, according to NBC News.
The video was recorded by Sanjay Seth, an Uber customer who was in the backseat when the incident occurred. Seth wrote that his driver honked at the officer, who was attempting to park without blinkers or hazard lights, blocking the Uber’s way to a green light. The officer got out of his unmarked car and approached the Uber.
In a three-minute long video, he proceeds to assault the Uber driver with profanity-laced questions and statements, even mocking the driver’s noticeable accent as he apologizes.
“Stop it with your mouth, stop it with your, ‘For what, sir.’ Stop it with that … and realize the three vehicle and traffic law violations you committed,” the officer yells. “You understand me? I don’t know what [epithet] planet you think you’re on right now.”
The officer slams his hand against the Uber’s hood and walks away. The driver apologizes to his passengers; Seth assures him that it isn’t his fault and that he’ll be happy to pass the video on to him so that he can report the officer.
The officer actually returns to the car after a minute or so, continuing to harass the driver.
“I don’t know where you’re coming from or where you think you’re appropriate in doing that. That’s not the way it works. How long have you been in this country?” he continues. “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.”
The officer hands the driver a piece of paper that may have been a ticket before he leaves for good.
“This very unfortunate incident is between the driver, Uber, the officer, and the relevant authorities,” Seth wrote to NBC New York in response to a request for comment.
The video has been submitted to the Civilian Complain Review Board, and an investigation is ongoing. An NYPD spokesman said that they are “aware of the incident and video and it is under review.”
The CCRB handles complaints about officers involving force, abuse of authority, discourtesy and offensive language.
Uber has called the incident “unacceptable.”
“We are in touch with our driver-partner who was subjected to this terrible experience and will continue to provide any support he needs,” Uber spokesman Matthew Wing said.