Uber

See a Heroic Rideshare Driver in Los Angeles Save a Fellow Worker From a Police Sting

"I just got trapped and wanted to stop someone else from getting trapped," the driver tells a uniformed officer who warns him he could be arrested for interfering with an investigation.

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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.

The video:

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  1. Hey Eric – these cops were also respectful and didn’t seem to enjoy what they were doing.

    http://tinyurl.com/y3fx9lp8

    1. Hey Eric – these cops were also respectful and didn’t seem to enjoy what they were doing.

      This was actually my line of thought. When the female officer said he was interfering with a police investigation; “I didn’t understand that to be the case. If you guys are just doing your jobs and following orders, so who’s in charge of the investigation? So if I get sued by Uber, I don’t have to hand them your name and badge number(s).”

    2. They were just enforcing THE LAW, which is their JOB. If you don’t like THE LAW, change it.

      1. They were just enforcing THE LAW, which is their JOB. If you don’t like THE LAW, change it.

        But, just like with the drug war, arresting/firing your way through the lowest levels of the organization is a long hard slog that will only end up with the same organization populated by new names and new faces at the lowest levels.

        Commendable for throwing water on this one sting but methodically dismantling the system is going to require more than “That officer dragged someone a few feet.”-style videos.

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      2. Exactly – just like the city of LA and the State of California obey the 2nd Amendment, which is a part of the “Supreme Law” of the land.

      3. Poor Crusty. He likes ignoring the difference between constitutional laws and unconstitutional laws.

      4. That’s kinda the point, Sparky. This is a stupid law, the type of law that lazy cops like this enjoy. They can arrest people and destroy lives with little effort or risk. Cops are professional liars, and never forget it. And if you think you’re special, and that they won’t destroy you if they have a chance…you’re a complete moron.

      5. Ahhh, the ‘just following orders’ defense.

        1. OK, how many lives are you committed to burning through *before* we get to the ‘just following orders’ defense?

          The Nazis were hell bent on exterminating the Jews and we had to pile up somewhere near a 100 million bodies on both sides before they said “Enough!”

          So, what’s the mountain of bodies we have to commit to in order to bring these Uber Nazis to their Nuremberg?

          1. Oh come on, ticketing rideshare drivers for knowingly violating the rules (I drive too, we all know this is not allowed) is not sending Jews to the gas chamber.

      6. “Only following orders” is not a defense.

      7. ……………………………………
        ……………………………………
        ……………………………………
        (Sighs, facepalms).

      8. It is “THE LAW” according to whom? Should one not recognize the legitimate authority of the supposed law create to do so, then simply ignoring (or otherwise opposing) it is perfectly legitimate.

        Of course, that does not necessarily mean that such opposition is always prudent — it is really no different than ignoring or opposing demands by a more commonly recognized gang banger.

    3. Fuck them.cheer when they are shot in their fucking faces .All the problems and they gotta create crime ?
      FTP ,.Fry’em like bacon

  2. Yet, there are still commenters here who will defend cops.

    This is where Orange Man fails his constituency: those who would drain the swamp do not fellate the fuzz.

    Of course, Orange Man, doesn’t really like cops or would not hesitate to throw any one or group of them under the Uber if he thought it suited him.

  3. What was the citation for? Is it illegal to transact outside of the Uber/Lyft ecosystem?

    1. yes. app ride providers can only legally give rides if summoned by app. streethail reserved for trad taxis.

    2. Is there such a thing as entrapment; I mean flagging the Uber/Lyft and then lying that your phone isn’t working.

      1. This is the Sin of Scandal

        For certain believers in mystical woo there are the lower reaches Dante’s Inferno. The 8th circle of hell where those who use fraud to lure other people into sin are punished, but then the ninth circle is for traitors and the deepest portion of that is the abode of Satan, reserved for those who betray their lords. In a republic that could easily be understood to mean those who betray their fellow citizens by luring them in with fraud.

        You may not accept and actual fiery pit, but you have to admit he put some real thought into how to grade tge severity of sins.

  4. They take their chances when they break the law. Different rules for different car hires. Why should we be weeping about this sting? Do I weep about speed traps? They suck but there’s a choice — don’t speed.

      1. It was done by a duly licensed jib cutter.

    1. Yes obey like a good little Nazi ! And then make sure you are not late for the meeting where we all berate each other for all our transgressions ! you love you some Mao ,don’t ‘cha!

  5. An investigation into a crime that hasn’t been committed yet.

    1. Are you trying to imply that you can’t interfere with someone being entrapped?

      I would agree 100%. My favorite part is the line about the dead phone. The whole thing would have been legal if they pulled up the app and placed a request after he pulled over, except they lied about the dead phone. Considering I have had a dead phone and needed a ride, this would have suckered me in.

      A citation for helping a poor schlub with a dead phone out. FYTW.

      1. In my humble opinion, that detail of the sting should be enough to get the thing tossed out of court. At that point he ceased to be a car for hire And became a dude helping someone out.

        Dude turns you down and says you gotta use the app, he is covered in my book.

    2. We’re all criminals, just waiting to be ‘helped’ by 4+ police officers.

      1. Or one of our “helpful” neighbors who would have been honorable Nazi sympathizers…

    3. Hands down, best response! That is the logical question to be asking. If they are caught doing illegal things, fine! But how exactly do you call this an investigation when they instigate a crime to make it happen?

      Reminds me of the awakening I was forced to have, the day I was arrested for “resisting arrest” when I wasn’t under arrest and had no other charges. I simply was dumb enough to think I could cite my rights to a uniformed officer. How dare I?

  6. too many LAPD or LAPD doesn’t know where real crime is?

  7. This makes me really respect cops..Oh, no, wait….the other thing

  8. Neither the perpetrators nor the victims of the 300 crimes a day mentioned make political contributions. That is why the cops are playing thug for the taxi companies.

  9. Real unfortunate that there is no mention of the constitutional authority for preventing people from talking to other people and preventing drivers from picking up whomever they like and charging them a fee for the ride.

    1. What ever would we do if you weren’t here to remind us?

  10. Perhaps the officers could have arrested the videographer but they couldn’t not have obtained a conviction. They know this and that’s why they didn’t follow through with their idle threat.

    Police officers are professional liars, and we need to remember that as we interact with them.

  11. Perhaps the officers could have arrested the videographer but they couldn’t not have obtained a conviction. They know this and that’s why they didn’t follow through with their idle threat.

    Police officers are professional liars, and we need to remember that as we interact with them.

    1. Supposed to be keepers of peace, trained to be the enemy of everyone they encounter.

  12. The living dystopia that L.A. has become.

    1. Agreed, but at what point do we start blaming the voters who put these slime balls into power in the first place?

  13. Yet more reason to cheer when cops are shot in their fucking faces

    1. No, actually, that would provide fodder for more pro-cop laws and the repeal of large parts of the Bill of Rights – I usually don’t reply to your trolling, but it *is* annoying.

      1. “No, actually, that would provide fodder for more pro-cop laws and the repeal of large parts of the Bill of Rights…”

        Spoken like a true serf. Oh, no, they might turn the screws more if I resist or object. What’s a panty waste like me to do except to assume my standard position of submission.

        Good thing America’s founders were not panzies like you.
        Bet you can say, Please, sir, can I have some more, with great alacrity.

  14. Just drove a stretch of rural AZ- bunch of cars flashed lights to indicate a speed trap up ahead. I was stuck in a long line so no danger of speeding but still appreciated it and was kinda impressed that almost every oncoming car took it upon themselves to warn everybody. Keep that spirit alive AZ.

    1. My mother got a ticket for that in FL. I forget what they actually ticketed her for. I told her to fight it but she didn’t. Sad. But I have a story to balance it out. My friend got ticketed at a speed trap right by his house one day. So he went inside, grabbed a poster board and a sharpie and stood on the nearby corner to warn people. I don’t think they got another person.

  15. “You know by doing this you are interfering with an investigation…you know you could get arrested for that,” a uniformed officer said.

    Yeah investigating pre crime that the cops create. What a crock.

    1. That would’ve been my question. How can you have an investigation before a crime has been committed? There has to be something to investigate first. This video ends too soon.

  16. Those approaching cops would look a lot sillier if they had to do it on snowboards.

  17. “interfering with an investigtion”? Yeah, right. There was no “investigation” going on at the time, they were merly fishing for suckers and got one. Now they are miffed the second got spooked.

  18. I would like to see the legal theory that it is illegal to try to prevent someone from committing a crime that he hasn’t yet committed, simply because the police are trying to get him to commit it. I mean, it’s not like the cops were undercover in the mafia, so saying “these are cops” isn’t particularly likely to result in a shootout.

  19. It’s too bad that Reason is the only source that consistently covers this kind of shit. People everywhere need to wake up. Shame on the brain-dead, mouth-breather constituents who put these slimy dirty filthy “public servants” in power in the first place.

    1. I have allergies. I’m a mouth breather. Why are you picking on me? Lol…

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  21. You can be sitting on your sofa eating Cheetos and scratching your balls and be arrested for interfering with an investigation. Fuck these guys!

  22. “L.A. police should focus on the city’s actual problems instead of harassing poor suckers who are just trying to earn an honest buck by providing rides to people for money.”

    I agree that this is not something cops should be wasting valuable (and expensive) time on, but speaking as someone who drives for Uber part-time in Chicago, if you are illegally accepting street hails then you are not trying to earn an honest buck.

  23. Law enforcement is out of hand. Instead of investigating crimes and capturing criminals, they are CREATING crimes.

    There is no clearer a picture of this legal entrapment than the attacks on Trump and his associates.

    Law enforcement must be reigned in. “I’m just doing my job.” is NOT an excuse. Sworn officers know better and if they don’t have the balls to stand up to their commanding officers and the corrupt politicians who promote them, then they should find another line of work, like being a criminal where their spineless, valueless existence would be useful.

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