a yellow taxi driver in new york city must pay $25,000 in fines and compensation for discrimination against a black family. the driver, baqir raza, refused to pick up cynthia jordan and her two daughters outside macy's in midtown, but let two white females into his cab instead.
raza told jordan he was off-duty, locked the doors and then drove 25 feet to pick up the white consumers. office of administrative trials and hearing (oath) judge raymond kramer ruled last week raza must pay $10,000 in compensation to jordan, and a $15,000 civil fine.
jordan, 57, a queens resident and vice president at a stock transfer firm, said, "i'm happy for the judgment. hopefully, someone will hear about this, and it will affect the way taxi drivers pick up fares in new york."
jordan says she routinely faces discrimination when trying to hail a cab. jordan said, "i'm always out with my young daughter trying to grab a cab. there is nothing threatening about us, and you should see how many people drive right past us."
on october 19, 2013, jordan's daughter, chiley holder, saw raza pull his taxi over to let a passenger exit. his on-duty light was on, but raza locked the door when holder tried to open it. raza said he was taking a break and switched his off-duty light on. but he then picked up the white females.
jordan ran up to his cab exclaiming, "are you kidding me? you picked up these two white bitches...instead of me and my family...i'm going to report you. jordan said raza wasn't fazed by her threat. "he said, yeah, go ahead and report me," she recalled.
holder works for the city's 311 system and urged her mother to file a complaint with the taxi and limousine commission (tlc), and the human rights commission. raza paid a $200 fine to the tlc in november, 2013. he plead guilty to a violation for refusing to pick up the jordan family.
however, the city's commission on human rights brought charges against raza at the oath hearing overseen by judge kramer. the commission must still approve kramer's recommendation for the $25,000 in penalties.
jordan says she hopes the obstinate fines will teach raza a lesson. jordan said, "you don't have impunity to do whatever you do. if you drive a cab, then drive a cab and pick up all fares. that's what you're supposed to do."
- mark j. tuggle
- harlem, usa
- same-gender-loving contemporary descendant of enslaved africans. community activist, feminist, health educator, independent filmmaker, mentor, playwright, poet & spiritual being. featured at, in & on africana.com, afrikan poetry theatre, angel herald, bejata dot com, bet tonight with tavis smiley, blacklight online, black noir, brooklyn moon cafe, gmhc's barbershop, klmo-fm, lgbt community services center, longmoor productions, nuyorican poets cafe, our corner, poz, pulse, rolling out new york, rush arts gallery, saint veronica's church, schomburg center for research in black culture, sexplorations, the citizen, the new york times, the soundz bar, the trenton times, the village voice, upn news, uzuri, venus, vibe, wbai-fm, wnyc-fm & wqht-fm. volunteered with adodi, bailey house, inc., black men's xchange-new york, colorofchange.org, drug policy alliance, east harlem tutorial program, imagenation film & music festival, presente.org, save darfur coalition, the enough project, the osborne association, the sledge group & your black world. worked on films with maurice jamal & heather murphy. writing student of phil bertelsen & ed bullins. firstname.lastname@example.org.