A NYC taxi driver was fined $25,000 for refusing to pick up a Black woman and her kids and instead picking up two white women a few feet away.
Cabbie Baqir Raza was hit with the penalty for telling Cynthia Jordan and her two daughters outside Macy’s in Midtownthat he was off-duty when they tried to hail him, according to the judge’s decision.
Raza locked the doors to his cab, preventing the family from getting in, but then drove about 25 feet and picked up two white female passengers, the decision says.
Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings Judge Raymond Kramer ruled that Raza must pay $10,000 in compensation to Jordan and a $15,000 civil fine.
“I’m happy for the judgment,” Jordan told DNAinfo New York. “Hopefully, someone will hear about this, and it will affect the way taxi drivers pick up fares in New York.”
Jordan, 57, a vice-president at a stock transfer firm, said that she and her family routinely face discrimination when hailing a cab.
“I’m always out with my young daughter trying to grab a cab,” she said. “There is nothing threatening about us and you should see how many people drive right past us.”
Difficulty for people of color trying to catch a cab is an all too common scenario we’ve seen (and experienced) many times before. Judge Kramer made the right decision.
“Upon seeing what was transpiring, Ms. Jordan ran up to the cab and exclaimed, ‘Are you kidding me? You picked up these two … white bitches … instead of me and my family. I’m gonna report you,” Judge Kramer wrote in his decision.
Jordan said Raza wasn’t fazed by her threat to call the city Taxi and Limousine Commission.
“He said, ‘Yeah, go ahead and report me,’” Jordan recalled.
At the urging of Holder, who works for the city’s 311 system, Jordan filed a complaint with TLC and the Human Rights Commission.
Raza paid a $200 fine to the TLC in November 2013 after pleading guilty to a violation for refusing to pick up Jordan.
However, the city’s Commission on Human Rights brought charges against Raza at the OATH hearing overseen by Judge Kramer.
The commission must still approve Kramer’s recommendation for the $25,000 in penalties.
We hope the commission uses this opportunity to set an example.
[via DNA Info]