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Cop in Uber driver YouTube rant stripped of badge and gun

Technically Incorrect: A New York police officer who was filmed using racially tinged language while berating an Uber driver has been reassigned to desk duties.

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.


The officer in action. Sanjay Seth/YouTube screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk for CNET

Once almost 2 million people have seen it on the Web, it's a little harder to deny.

So the New York Police Department has been swift to react, after a YouTube video of a police officer berating an Uber driver captured the public's imagination and ire.

Yesterday, New York Police Commissioner William Bratton issued a statement of dismay about the officer's behavior: "No good cop should watch that video without a wince. Because all good cops know that officer just made their jobs a little bit harder."

The officer, Detective Patrick Cherry, who had been assigned to the Joint Terrorism Task Force, was stripped of his badge and gun and told to sit behind a desk, according to the New York Post, reporting on a press conference Bratton held.

In the incident, the cop had been incensed that the Uber driver was unhappy with the cop's parking methods and mildly reacted. Cherry was in an unmarked car.

He stopped the Uber driver and then read him the riot act in a way that started an online riot. The cop appeared to denigrate the fact that the driver was from another country. He also slammed his car door hard and essentially lost complete control.

Bratton noted: "In that kind of encounter, anger like that is unacceptable. In any encounter, discourtesy and obscene language like that is unacceptable."

The Uber driver was lucky that his passenger, Sanjay Seth, chose to film the encounter. On his Twitter feed, Seth explained that he personally gave evidence to the police inquiry. He said: "At CCRB, I spoke with an Investigator, the Chief Prosecutor, and the Executive Director. They are taking this complaint seriously." (The CCRB is the Civilian Complaint Review Board.)

The Post reported that Cherry has 10 previous CCRB complaints against him.