An NYPD detective captured on a viral video berating an Uber driver was stripped of his shield and gun and placed on modified duty for behavior that "reflected badly on everyone who wears our uniform," Commissioner Bill Bratton said yesterday.
The detective, identified by a police source as Patrick Cherry, was transferred out of the Joint Terrorism Task Force. The Internal Affairs Bureau as well as the Civilian Complaint Review Board will investigate, Bratton said.
"No good cop could watch that without a wince," Bratton said of the taped encounter between Cherry and the unidentified driver, which went viral soon after it was uploaded to YouTube Monday. "That officer's behavior violated every one of the tenets that we are attempting to teach at the police academy."
Sanjay Seth, the passenger who uploaded the three-and-a-half minute video, testified to the CCRB yesterday.
"Just gave testimony to CCRB. The investigation is in their hands. Here's to a quick, fair, and thorough resolution to this incident," Seth wrote on Twitter. "At CCRB, I spoke with an Investigator, the Chief Prosecutor, and the Executive Director. They are taking this complaint seriously."
Seth wrote on his YouTube account that Cherry, of Long Island, was apparently trying to park his unmarked car without using his blinker at a green light in the West Village just before 2 p.m.
The Uber driver pulled around and gestured that Cherry should use his blinker. Cherry then pulled him over, Seth wrote.
"Do you understand me? I don't know what [expletive] planet you think you're on right now. Pull over five [expletive] feet," Cherry shouts, as the driver says "OK" repeatedly.
Moments later, the detective slams the door and leaves and a passenger assures the driver he is recording the encounter.
Cherry returns and again yells at the driver, now less than a foot from the man's face. "I don't care what you have to say, do you understand that?" he says as the driver again tells the detective "OK."
"I don't know where you're coming from or where you think you're appropriate in doing that, it's not the way it works. How long have you been in this country?"
The driver tells Cherry he's been in this country for almost two years.
Cherry says: "the only reason you're not in handcuffs, going to jail and getting summonses in the precinct is because I have things to do. Because this is not important enough for me. You're not important enough."
In a statement, Uber spokesman Matt Wing condemned Cherry's behavior and said "we are in touch with our driver-partner who was subjected to this terrible experience and will continue to provide any support he needs."