The NYPD cop whose xenophobic tirade against an Uber driver was captured on a viral video was stripped of his gun and badge Wednesday and placed on modified leave.
Detective Patrick Cherry – who was on duty at the time – will now work desk duty, an embarrassing demotion for the cop who was part of the Joint Terrorism Task Force, considered an elite coalition of local, state and federal cops in charge of investigating terrorism.
New York City Police Commissioner Bill Bratton made the announcement during a press conference Wednesday, calling the incident “unacceptable.”
Meanwhile, the detective union defended Cherry, calling his tirade an isolated incident.
“I am not trying to minimize the significance of what occurred. I am simply pointing out that cops are just like everyone else. They have families, friends, and other things going on in their lives, too, that may affect their behavior at times. There is no disputing that we are held to a higher standard and that is why this incident is so newsworthy. Detective Cherry is a person of good character and an excellent Detective. He really should not be judged by one isolated incident.”
Michael J. Palladino, President, Detectives’ Endowment Association, Inc.
The NYPD said the car he was driving, a black Hyundai with blue and red emergency lights on the dash, does not belong to them. It is not clear at this point if the vehicle is owned by the task force or if it’s his personal vehicle.
The video was recorded by a backseat passenger in the car, who uploaded it to Youtube where it now has more than 65,000 views. Although the passenger did not refer to him as an NYPD cop in the description, posted below, many news sites assumed he was a New York City cop and described him as such.
Police abuse of Uber driver in New York City. In an unmarked car, the policeman was allegedly attempting to park without using his blinker at a green light. (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.
(This occurred just before 2pm on the West side of Manhattan, in police precinct 6, on March 30th, 2015. The officer did not identify himself, but he had a New York license plate: GSS 8891)
The driver filed a complaint with the NYPD, who turned it over to it’s internal affairs bureau.
He also claims that the Uber driver flipped him off while mouthing “fuck you,” which is standard New York City driving etiquette, no doubt committed by Cherry on a regular basis.
The NYPD also stated is not going to fire him because displaying unprofessionalism is not a fireable offense as it would be in most any other job dealing with the public.