The Uber driver's crime: honking at a cop.
A viral video showing a New York City cop viciously berating an Uber driver took the Internet by storm and led to the cop being stripped of his badge and gun this week, but on Friday, the cop went on TV asking that people not judge him based on a three-minute clip.
“People shouldn’t be treated that way. I let my emotions get the better of me and I was angry,” the officer, Det. Patrick Cherry, told WNBC-TV. “My intention was to be courteous and then we got into an argument. There was no intention to berate or hurt deeply the driver.”
The encounter was kicked off when the Uber driver honked at Cherry, who was attempting to parallel park in his unmarked police car, without using his blinker, according to passengers in the Uber car.
Cherry said things escalated because the driver "got smart," refusing to give him his license and registration.
The video of the encounter was posted to YouTube Monday and by Saturday morning had amassed more than 3 million views — watch below (content warning: strong language):
Despite the fact that he has some 10 prior complaints against him, Cherry likely won't lose his job over the incident, police sources told DNA Info.
The most severe punishment Cherry would face would likely be the loss of a month's pay — roughly $10,000 at Cherry's pay grade.
Watch Cherry's apology and explanation of the altercation below:
Sanjay Seth, the passenger who recorded the incident and uploaded the video to YouTube, didn't buy Cherry's apology.
I question parts of Detective Cherry's interpretation of the incident in his recent apology. CCRB needs to sort out the facts.— Sanjay Seth (@sanjayseth) April 3, 2015
Seth and others are calling for the NYPD's Civilian Complaint Review Board to take Cherry's case seriously, and Seth tweeted that he hopes the incident helps work broad change within the NYPD.
At CCRB, I spoke with an Investigator, the Chief Prosecutor, and the Executive Director. They are taking this complaint seriously.— Sanjay Seth (@sanjayseth) April 1, 2015
If the video serves as a one-off lesson about a driver who was abused and a detective who went too far, it isn't really worth the trouble.— Sanjay Seth (@sanjayseth) April 3, 2015
So, I hope we all commit ourselves to work with each other to support a better policing relationship for everyone based in mutual respect.— Sanjay Seth (@sanjayseth) April 3, 2015
Follow Zach Noble (@thezachnoble) on Twitter