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Rideshare service Lyft has criticized the “despicable” behavior of a passenger who was filmed engaging in a racist, homophobic rant after being asked to wear a face mask.
Lyft currently requires both drivers and passengers using its service to wear face coverings during the COVID-19 pandemic, a policy it announced in early May.
But in footage posted to YouTube, one passenger, named Richard, took particular exception when his driver, Edgar, requested that he wear a mask.
The incident, which took place in late May, led to Richard threatening to crush Edgar’s “fucking skull” and calling him a “candy ass faggot.”
After Richard enters the car, Edgar — who is wearing a mask — asks him if he has a mask or can put his shirt over his mouth.
“Do you believe in that shit?” Richard responds.
Edgar says yes, as he has “family that is sick of that,” presumably referring to COVID-19.
Richard puts his hand over his mouth and says something about the “government,” and then adds, “I’ve never heard of someone asking me to wear a mask.”
“It’s because we’re really close in the car,” Edgar says.
After Edgar starts to head to the freeway, rather than the passenger’s preferred route home, Richard starts to get confrontational and says, “I don’t like you.”
“You don’t like me? You want to get out?” Edgar asks.
Richard refuses, instead telling Edgar to “take my ass home” so he “can give you a shitty review.”
Rather than comply, Edgar stops the car and tells Richard he can “get out right now,” as his ride is over.
“I’m not getting out,” Richard says. “I’ve got a contract with you and I’ve got a ride with you.”
“The contract ends right now,” Edgar responds.
Richard’s responds by complaining about free speech and his four-mile walk home, and calls Edgar a “candy ass faggot with white glasses.” He then says he could crush Edgar’s “fucking skull right now.”
After Edgar finishes the ride, he asks Richard to get out of his car, adding “please.”
“Get out of your car? How about a ‘please,’ boy,” Richard responds, emphasizing “boy.”
After they argue about the trip and Edgar tells Richard he’s on camera, Richard follows his homophobia with racism by mocking Edgar saying he “got video” of him.
“You got video? You got video? You ever take English class?” he says, before asking Edgar, “Where are you from, boy?” He again emphasizes “boy.”
After Edgar says he is “from here,” Richard responds, “No you’re not, you’re a fucking wetback,” before finally getting out of the car.
Lyft told TMZ that the passenger’s actions were “despicable” and he has been banned from the platform. It also said it was working with the driver to make sure he is okay.
“The behavior shown by the rider in this video is despicable and has no place on the Lyft platform,” the company said. “Lyft is committed to maintaining an inclusive and welcoming community, and discrimination is not tolerated.”
(Editor’s Note: As of 6/26/20, the original video is no longer publicly accessible on YouTube.)
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