NYPD detective Patrick Cherry is sorry for the unhinged rant he delivered to an Uber driver who dared honk at him for not using his blinker while parking last week. In his first on-camera interview since a video of the incident went viral, Cherry told NBC New York, “I apologize. I sincerely apologize.”
Cherry also shared his side of the story:
He said the driver pulled up fast behind him as he was trying to park his unmarked patrol car on a West Village street Monday. The driver was honking and gesturing angrily, Cherry said.
That was when he turned his emergency lights on to “clarify the problem.” He said the driver then refused to turn over his license and registration, and that’s when Cherry lost his temper.
“When I walked up, I was uptight. I wanted to know what the problem was,” 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.”’
Even if what Cherry says is true, the added context doesn’t excuse his behavior, which included several minutes of abusive shouting, cursing, imitating the driver’s accent, and demanding to know “how long have you been in this country?” Cherry also (somewhat unbelievably) claimed that the driver’s background had nothing to do with the way he treated him, saying, “[There’s] no reasonable way to determine in a few short seconds where [someone’s] skin color race or religion is going to play a factor in something that short.”
Cherry’s case is under investigation, but, as sources recently told DNAinfo, he “won’t be fired because verbal abuse of a civilian is not considered a fireable offense.” Meanwhile, he’s been removed from his position on the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force, stripped of his gun and badge, and placed on desk duty, so at least he’s not interacting with the public — for now.