NYPD officer apologizes for yelling at Uber driver

By Danielle Haynes  |  April 3, 2015 at 5:06 PM
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NEW YORK, April 3 (UPI) -- A New York police detective put on desk duty for being caught on video verbally abusing an Uber driver issued an apology Friday, saying he let his "emotions get the better of" him.

Patrick Cherry became the subject of an investigation by the NYPD when video of him shouting and cursing at an Uber driver went viral earlier this week.

Sanjay Seth, one of two passengers in the backseat of the car during the Monday incident, said on YouTube Cherry pulled up behind the Uber car "aggressively" after the driver attempted to "casually and non-offensively" signal to the man that he should use his blinker while trying to park at a green light.

"I don't know where you're coming from, where you think you're appropriate in doing that; that's not the way it works. How long have you been in this country?" Cherry asks the Uber driver in the video.

"I apologize. I sincerely apologize," Cherry told NBC New York. "People shouldn't be treated that way. I let my emotions get the better of me and I was angry. My intention was to be courteous and then we got into an argument. There was no intention to berate or hurt deeply the driver."

Cherry wasn't wearing a uniform but told the driver he was an officer and demanded to see the driver's license. Cherry said he became angry with the driver when he refused to give identification.

"When I walked up, I was uptight. I wanted to know what the problem was. What did I do that was so wrong that I had to get chastised?" Cherry said. "I felt his driving actions were discourteous and impolite and when he stopped he said, 'I'm not going to give you anything.'

"I was upset that he refused to give me his license and registration and I yelled inappropriately," he added. "That's not who I am, that's not who I've been and that's not how I conducted myself as an officer in New York City," he added.

In response to the video, the NYPD stripped Cherry of his badge and gun, and transferred him out of the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force.

Police Commissioner William J. Bratton said Cherry's behavior "violated every one of the tenets that we are attempting to teach at the police academy."

"That officer's behavior reflected poorly on everyone who wears our uniform."

Warning: Video contains strong language

Ben Hooper contributed to this report.

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