BROOKLYN, NEW YORK — A Lyft passenger and self-proclaimed Trump supporter called police because his driver refused to turn on the radio, video shows.
Shawn Pepas Lettman, a Lyft driver from Brooklyn, filmed passenger Robert Ortiz calling 911 to report he was being filmed and that his driver wouldn’t let him listen to music, according to video and reports.
“I know my legal rights as an American citizen that voted for Trump,” Ortiz says in the 16-minute video. “I came out of a gay club and your driver is racist against gay people … I feel racially profiled.”
Ortiz continues to accuse Lettman of charging him an extra $8 to play music and of violating his rights by recording him. A sign in the car states clearly that passengers will be recorded.
The angry passenger calls Lettman “a piece of s—” and, in another telephone conversation, repeatedly uses the n-word to describe Lettman.
“Luckily there was no physical confrontation,” Lettman wrote when he posted the video to GoFundMe on Oct. 5 in a missive entitled, “Insulted but not broken.”
The Brooklyn driver explained he launched the crowdfunding campaign because he feared a lawsuit and “the company I drive with felt it necessary to cancel my account pending investigation.”
“Unfortunately expenses weren’t suspended and I am left to dig myself out of an awfully stressful predicament.”
But a Lyft representative told Yahoo Lifestyle that Lettman’s account has since been reactivated.
“The behavior exhibited in the video is deeply concerning,” Lyft told Yahoo. “Lyft is committed to maintaining an inclusive and welcoming community and discriminatory behavior is unacceptable.”
Lyft permanently shut down Ortiz’ account and reached out to Lettman to express their support, the spokesperson said.
“I know America is better than this,” Lettman wrote in his GoFundMe plea, which has since raised $36,495.
“Despite the hate we have to deal with from a few, my heart tells me, the world is mostly good.”
Photo and video courtesy of YouTube