A videographer, who says he had just been cited by undercover cops for daring to offer them a ride when the officers stood on the sidewalk with luggage and waved down passing cars, decided to come back to the rescue of another rideshare driver, as seen in a video uploaded yesterday to YouTube.
The videographer came up to the pair of undercover officers as a car with Lyft and Uber stickers pulled up to them and a male officer leaned in to discuss where they wanted to be taken. The videographer then shouted to the driver, "Hey brother, those people are undercover cops. I just got a citation for this."
It worked; the driver said, "Oh really?" and pulled away before committing the crime of offering a paid ride summoned by a streethail and not a smartphone app.
"Good job guys," the videographer taunted the undercover officers. "I'll see ya'll in court."
The female undercover officer then began filming him with her phone. "Your phone ain't dead no more huh?" says the videographer, alluding to the lie he says the pair told him when he was cited to explain why they were hailing by hand and not app.
The female officer accused him of harassing her and interfering with an investigation. A marked police car with two other officers then pulled up to the videographer, who told the newly arriving police, "I just got trapped and wanted to stop someone else from getting trapped."
"You know by doing this you are interfering with an investigation…you know you could get arrested for that," a uniformed officer said.
The video ends there. Back in 2016, local radio station KPCC reported on how a similar set of Los Angeles stings was being paid for by the competing taxi industry.
L.A. police should focus on the city's actual problems instead of harrassing poor suckers who are just trying to earn an honest buck by providing rides to people for money. After all, in 2019 the city saw well over 12,000 violent and property crimes in just its first 40 days; that's more than 300 a day. There is no way that those officers' time is best spent trying to entrap peaceful service providers and harassing someone who dared "interfere" with them.