NEW YORK — The New York police officer who earlier this week was caught on video viciously yelling at an Uber driver has been stripped of his gun and badge and placed on desk duty, Police Commissioner Bill Bratton said at a news conference Wednesday.
"No good cop can watch that video without a wince," Bratton said. "That officer's behavior reflected poorly on everyone who wears our uniform."
The amateur video shows a New York Police Department officer — later identified as Det. Patrick Cherry — approaching an Uber car in the West Village and launching into a long, abusive diatribe against the driver.
"I don't know what fucking planet you think you are on," the visibly furious cop can be heard saying in the video, mocking the immigrant driver's English. "How long have you been in this country?"
The cop, who was driving an unmarked car, apparently stopped the Uber car after the driver, identified only as Humayun, pointed out to him that he was trying to park at a green light without using his blinkers.
"People are allowed to park their cars on the side of the street without your interference and then your opinion about what is going on!" the cop can be heard saying. "Especially when the person you are doing to are the police!"
At the news conference, Bratton said that Cherry had been a member of the Joint Terrorism Taskforce — an elite unit that works with the FBI — but had been transferred after the incident.
The Civilian Complaint and Review Board (CCRB), an independent agency tasked with overseeing cases of police misconduct and discourtesy, is conducting an investigation.
"We received the complaint and we are investigating," said a spokeswoman with the agency, adding that she could not give any details on the confidential inquiry.
Sanjay Seth, the YouTube user who shot and uploaded the video, told BuzzFeed News that he had testified before the CCRB.
"I have no further comment at this time," Seth wrote in an email. "This incident is a matter for the NYPD, Uber, and CCRB. I have just given my testimony to the CCRB and they are beginning their investigation. I met with an investigator, the chief prosecutor, and the executive director."
In a statement, the NYPD declined to comment on the specifics of the investigation, saying only that after reviewing the video, the officer was identified as a detective with the department and the matter had been referred to the Internal Affairs Bureau and CCRB.
Matt Wing, a spokesman for Uber, issued a statement on the incident on the company's blog.
"The behavior in the video is wrong and unacceptable and we appreciate the NYPD investigating the incident," the statement read. "We are in touch with our driver-partner who was subjected to this terrible experience and will continue to provide any support he needs."
Michael Palladino, the president of the Detective's Endowment Association — the union that represents Cherry — defended his character.
"I am not trying to minimize the significance of what occurred. I am simply pointing out that cops are just like everyone else," Palladino said in a statement. "They have families, friends, and other things going on in their lives, too, that may affect their behavior at times. Detective Cherry is a person of good character and an excellent detective. He really should not be judged by one isolated incident."
Nicolás Medina Mora is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
Contact Nicolás Medina Mora at email@example.com.
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