This righteous lawsuit over a “mistake” made by NYC Taxi & Limousine Commission agents would be laughably absurd, if it weren’t for the obvious racism in the incident provoking the lawsuit.
The Daily News story − TLC agents ticketed man for operating an illegal cab — but passenger turns out to be his wife: suit – NY Daily News. − by Oren Yaniv begins:
Racially biased inspectors ticketed a black man as an illegal cabbie after spotting him drop off a seemingly white passenger — who turned out to be his wife, according to a lawsuit.
Queens couple Dan Keys and Symone Palermo filed a $3 million suit against the city and the Taxi and Limousine Commission, claiming they were unlawfully targeted in May 2013 by agents who slapped them with summonses and seized their Lincoln Town Car for eight days.
The incident unfolded when Keys, 66, dropped off Palermo at a Flushing mall, where she works in a Bob’s Discount Furniture store, according to legal documents.
He was then approached by TLC employees who charged that his passenger had left the back seat, which meant he was providing her an illegal ride.
They falsely claimed “the white female passenger exchanged money and that the passenger had confirmed that the Town Car was being operated as a taxi,” according to the lawsuit filed last week in Queens Supreme Court.
“Upon information, the only reason that the TLC agents stopped Keys was because they observed an African-American male driving what they thought to be a white female,” court papers charged.
They added that Palermo, 53 — who is biracial — then returned to the car and explained she is the driver’s wife.
But the Bayside couple’s explanations fell on deaf ears.
They both received summonses — the wife got one as the registered owner of the car — and the agents allegedly continued the charade to cover up their mistake.
I ask myself what on earth those agents thought they were doing once they learned that the car belonged to the couple, the man driving was not an unlicensed cabby and the woman he dropped off was his wife. Who didn’t pay him for a cab ride.
The answer: they were covering up and like most cover ups made everything much, much worse. I mean, they kept the car for eight days????
Two bright lights in this story:
Reached at her workplace Wednesday, Palermo declined to provided additional details.
“We’re just letting the legal system take its course,” she said.
And “The couple’s lawyer, David Haber, did not return calls.”
These are smart people, and I’m specifically including the lawyer.