For years, the city of Los Angeles has been one of the most unfriendly places in the United States for drivers that work for rideshare services like Uber and Lyft. Los Angeles is one of the only places in the country where police set up sting operations to catch rideshare drivers breaking regulations that the city has put into place. In the past, researchers were able to prove that taxi companies where actually funding these sting operations.
A Los Angeles Uber driver posted cellphone video to YouTube this week after confronting police for writing him a citation, leading some to believe the undercover operations are still taking place. The police reportedly wrote the man a citation after using undercover agents to flag his car down. He was charged with accepting cash as a rideshare service without using the app, which would ensure that he paid the required taxes and followed all of the current regulations.
The driver, who remained anonymous, disputes the citation and says that he never accepted cash from the officers. Additionally, he says that they tried to entrap him by asking for help and saying that they didn’t have a working cellphone.
In the video below, the Uber driver can be seen approaching the agents from across the street as they attempt to bust a Lyft driver.
“These two people are the two individuals that entrapped me right here, and they’re trying to do it right now. They’re trying to get every other Uber driver and Lyft driver right now. Look at them, waving people down. The woman said… her phone was out of battery, and the guy said he had a flip phone and said he had cash. They’re trying to catch all kinds of people,” the Uber driver explained to the camera as he approached the undercover officers.
The Uber driver calls out to the Lyft driver, “Hey, brother, those people are undercover cops! I just got a citation for this!”
The Lyft driver replied “Oh really?” and slowly pulled away.
“Yeah, they trapped me,” the Uber driver responds as the car pulls off.
The Uber driver turns to the police and says, “Yep. Good job, guys!”
“I’ll see y’all in court,” he added, slowly backing away from the police as they surrounded him with angry faces.
The female officer then takes out her phone and begins filming the driver.
“Oh, I thought your phone was dead! Ah, your phone ain’t dead no more, huh?” the Uber driver responds.
“We gave you cash,” she said, referring to her earlier encounter with the driver.
“I didn’t take nothing from you. I took nothing from neither one of you people, and you know I didn’t,” the Uber driver said, disputing his citation.
The police threatened the driver with more charges and accused him of harassment.
“Okay, I’m going to show this to the judge. You’re harassing me. You’re interfering with an investigation,” the officer threatened.
“I’m not harassing nothing. Y’all entrapped me. I just got trapped, and I just wanted to stop someone else from getting trapped, that’s all,” the driver responded.