SEE IT! Hero Cop Does Job — And Gives Rogue Cabbie the Business
That’s what beleaguered cyclists are asking today after a biker posted a viral video showing an NYPD officer identified only as Officer So not only giving a cab driver a failure-to-yield ticket after he almost hit the bike rider — but then angrily keeping his PBA “favor” card when the cab driver brandished it to beat the ticket.
All the action was captured on the Bike Commuting NYC Twitter feed — an active site for harrowing and nerve-wracking body-cam footage.
The action begins where it so often does: The cyclist is seen in a protected bike lane as it approaches a mixing zone — in this case at First Avenue and E. 45th St. The cab cuts off the cyclist as he begins to make a left:
Part 1: Honestly re-watching this, it wasn't even the worst left-hook I've encountered while biking. I figured it'd be a normal TLC report.
"I slow down, I have customer, I can't even speed! I don't drive fast!"
He had 2 customers at the time, one in the back, one in the front. pic.twitter.com/SYOVznUXld
— Bike Commuting NYC (@driversofnyc) December 13, 2018
Within seconds, the officer is on the scene, demanding the cab driver’s license. But instead of handing over the document, the cab driver pulls out another card and tells the officer to “call this guy — a special lieutenant.”
That was all Officer So needed to hear.
“Wait, sir, I’m in the uniform!” she said. “You give me this card and say you know somebody? You’re going to hit somebody! Let me see your driver’s license, OK? Don’t tell me to call anyone, OK? You have to respect me. Driver’s license!”
It is unclear what kind of card the cabbie handed over, but it is well known that many cops give friends “favor” cards to help them wiggle out of minor infractions — a way for cops to protect their friends. The cards are subject to rampant abuse.
The cab driver continues to maintain that he “slowed down” for the cyclist and that he never speeds, but the officer persisted. “I’m going to call this guy and tell him how much you don’t respect me,” she said. “You show me this card [and say] ‘Don’t give me a ticket. Call this guy.’ Who do you think you are?” (A check of the invaluable database @howsmydrivingny did reveal several parking tickets for the cabbie, but no moving violations.)
That portion of the video ends with the cabbie pulled over to the curb, but the thread picks up with the cabbie saying, “I want to call my guy. I want to call the police.”
Needless to say, that didn’t help him avoid Officer So and her ticket book.
A final segment of the video shows another officer telling the cyclist, “What happened to you happens all the time here — it’s crazy.” The officers then complain that they’re not allowed to write failure-to-yield tickets unless they witness the incident themselves (though they are actually allowed to do so if there is a crash).
(Point of information: The cops sort of blame cyclists for getting in the way of cars, but one can’t have everything, we suppose.)
— Bike Commuting NYC (@driversofnyc) December 14, 2018
The incident reminded the cyclist that drivers are to blame because they are the ones who are less aware of their surroundings because they are protected by 3,000 pounds of metal.
“The problem is that not enough drivers have experienced the road on a bike,” she tweeted. “I rarely drive nowadays, but when I do get behind the wheel, I definitely feel like I’m much more aware of my surroundings, b/c I’m so used to biking.”
So who is Officer So? We can’t be certain, but there’s only one NYPD employee with the surname So in the entire online payroll of the City of New York. Kit Lin So has been a police officer since 2008, when she started with a salary of $38,809. She must be working a lot of overtime: Last year, she earned a total of $145,252 on a base salary of $85,292.