A Lyft driver has recorded the tirade of racist abuse he received from one of his passengers who also happens to be gay.
Shawn Pepas Lettman from Brooklyn was working on the weekend when he picked up three men. One of the men, Robert Ortiz, started to hurl abuse at the Lettman after he refused to change the music playing in the car.
So Lettman started recording Ortiz’s tirade in a video which lasts more than 16 minutes.
Ortiz and his friends refused to get out of the car until Lettman refunds them US$8.01 for the cost of the ride. Ortiz also waited in the car until police arrived.
‘I’m not getting out of here until you arrive,’ Ortiz tells police.
Ortiz also claimed to feel ‘racially profiled’ because he’s not ‘black’.
‘I’m going to make sure that you never have a job as Lyft driver again, you piece of shit,’ Ortiz said.
Lettman sits quietly during the entire incident and the video went viral once he uploaded it.
‘Your driver is racist against gay people,’ Ortiz tells a Lyft staff member on the phone.
Crowdfunding for Lettman
Lyft suspended Lettman ‘pending investigation’ which left him without extra income to support his family. So he started a crowdfunding campaign to help cover the lost income.
‘When my mother died she taught me a very important lesson, which was always useful but more now than ever. She taught patience, humble and calm will get you through anything,’ Lettman wrote on the crowdfunding page.
In only a few short days Lettman raised more than $9,000 above his target of $20,000.
‘(sic) I didn’t ask for this nor did i want this. I know America is better than this and despite the hate we have to deal with from a few, my heart tells me, the world is mostly good,’ Lettman wrote.
‘I ask for help, So i can get myself off the ground and back to providing for my family again.’
Ortiz loses his job
During his rant, Ortiz named his employer as CityMD, an urgent care facility.
After the video went viral, people swamped CityMD’s Facebook page calling for them to fire Ortiz.
CityMD confirmed to Queerty that it had terminated Ortiz’s employment in a short statement.
‘This is to confirm that this individual was terminated and is no longer employed by or affiliated with CityMD in any capacity.’