Officer Patrick Cherry, a 38 year old New York Police Department detective assigned to the Joint Terrorism Task Force, became insanely angry at an Uber driver who honked at the detective for blocking him while parking his unmarked vehicle. A passenger recorded the tirade, and now everyone gets to see what a hideously abusive asshole Officer Patrick Cherry is.
According to Sanjay Seth, one of the passengers in the Uber car who recorded the video on his cell phone, the officer was at fault. The driver honked at Cherry, who was attempting to park his vehicle on a busy West Village street without signaling or using hazard lights. Moments later, Cherry gets out of his unmarked car and approaches the Uber driver's window.
"Stop it with your mouth, stop it with your, 'For what, sir,'" he yells at the driver.
"You understand me? I don't know what fucking planet you think you're on right now."
The driver repeatedly tries to diffuse the situation with respectful apologies, to no avail. Cherry continues makes jabs at the driver's ethnicity, mocking his accent and English skills.
"How long have you been in this country?" he asks. "Almost how long? Two years? I got news for you and use this lesson: Don't ever do that again. The only reason you're not in handcuffs going to jail and getting summonses in the precinct is because I have things to do."
The video was captured and uploaded by Sanjay Seth, who was one of the paying passengers in the car at the time.
"Our Uber driver, Humayun, was abused by a police officer today in New York," wrote Seth on Facebook. "The rage, door slamming, throwing items into the car, threatening arrest without cause was bad enough — but the officer's remarks at the end really took it to another level."
In a statement Tuesday, the NYPD said "We are aware of the incident and video and it is under review with the Department's Internal Affairs Bureau." A representative told The Huffington Post the department could not immediately "determine if the male is a member of the NYPD."
The video appears to have been filmed on Manhattan's West Side Highway in the West Village. According to the YouTube description from passenger Sanjay Seth, the incident occurred in the NYPD's 6th Precinct.
In the video, you can hear that the officer claims the driver committed three traffic violations. Seth says that isn't true.
"In an unmarked car, the policeman was allegedly attempting to park without using his blinker at a green light," reads Seth's YouTube description.
"(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."
The incident has been reported to the NYPD's Citizen Complaints Review Board.
"Already reported to CCRB," Seth wrote on his Facebook page Tuesday night. "Felt awful for the driver, but hopefully the Internet will give him some justice."
Cherry has not yet been suspended or put on modified assignment as of Wednesday mid-day New York time.
"IAB will look at the circumstances and determine if a duty status change is required," a high-ranking police source told NY Daily News.
The Civilian Complaint Review Board may take over the whole case because discourtesy was the major infraction, a police source told the paper.
The NYPD was quick to counter internet backlash with "But Officer Cherry Had The Feels."
Cherry was on his way to work after visiting Detective Harry Hill at NYU Langone Medical Center when the interaction occurred, a second police source said.
Hill is in critical condition after going into cardiac arrest during a procedure on his elbow on Thursday, the source said.
Michael Palladino, the president of the Detectives Endowment Association, said emotions have been running high in the task force in recent days.
"The past five days have been emotionally draining for the members of the JTTF dealing with their fellow detective's health. Despite what some people think, cops have feelings too," Palladino said.
UPDATE: Officer Cherry "was stripped of his badge and gun, placed on desk duty and is being transferred from an elite New York Police Department unit," NYC Police Commissioner William Bratton said Wednesday.