New York police detective berates apologetic Uber driver

Passenger Catches Traffic Stop On Video; NYPD Investigating Incident

A New York City police detective was caught on video berating an Uber driver after a minor traffic squabble.

The incident took place Monday afternoon on the West Side Highway near Little West 12th Street in Manhattan, according to Sanjay Seth, a passenger in the rear seat of the Uber car who filmed the video and uploaded it to YouTube.

In the video above, police detective Patrick Cherry, a member of the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force, is seen screaming at the Uber driver, banging on his door and using profane language, even as the contrite driver attempted to defuse the situation.

"Do you understand me? I don't know what (expletive) planet you think you're on right now," Cherry yells.

Later in the video, after asking the driver how long he's been in the country, the police officer says, "I got news for you and use this lesson – don't ever do that again. The only reason you're not in handcuffs and going to jail is that I've got things to do. ... This isn't important enough to me. You're not important enough."

On Wednesday, the New York Police Department said the incident is under review by both the Internal Affairs Bureau and Civilian Complaint Review Board.

"Anger like that is unacceptable in any encounter," chief of police William Bratton said. "Discourtesy like that and language like that is unacceptable. That officer's behavior reflected poorly on everyone who wears our uniform."

The incident began when the unnamed Uber driver passed an unmarked car that was attempting to double-park without using its blinker, according to Seth's description of the event. The Uber driver gestured that he should use your blinker "casually and non-offensively," and then the police officer pulled up behind them.

"The behavior in this video is wrong and unacceptable and we appreciate the NYPD investigating the incident," Uber spokesperson Matthew Wing 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."

The video has garnered more than 1.8 million views on YouTube.

Tensions between city police officers and livery drivers have increased in recent months in New York, in part because police are cracking down on aggressive driving as part of a plan to eliminate traffic deaths in this city, though this particular incident does not appear to be connected to the sources of those concerns.

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