Lyft driver celebrated for refusal to take passengers over racist comment

Driver also filed police complaint after passengers threatened to assault him

Sravasti Dasgupta
Tuesday 17 May 2022 06:53
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<p>Representative: Lyft lauded the driver, James  Bode, for his handling of the incident</p>

Representative: Lyft lauded the driver, James Bode, for his handling of the incident

A Lyft driver in Pennsylvania has become a social media hero after he kicked out a bar owner for making racist comments.

James W Bode shared on social media a dash cam video of the incident that took place outside Fossil’s Last Stand, a biker bar along the 400 block of Race Street in Catasauqua.

The video shows Mr Bode waiting in the car as the rider Jackie gets into the vehicle. He greets her warmly: “Hello, you’re Jackie right? How are you?”

As she enters the vehicle, she tells Mr Bode: “Oh, you’re like, a white guy.”

The driver, perplexed, asks: “What’s that?”

“Are you ... are you ... a white guy?” Ms Jackie replied, to which Mr Bode said: “Excuse me?”

She patted him on the shoulder and responded with: “You’re like, a normal guy — like, you speak English?”

“No, you can get out of the car,” Mr Bode said. “I’m going to cancel the ride. That’s inappropriate. It’s completely inappropriate. If somebody was not white sitting in this seat, what would be the difference?”

“Are you serious?” the woman asks, while another man tries to enter the car.

Mr Bode told the man that he was cancelling the ride because of Ms Jackie’s comments.

The male passenger did not take it well: “You’re a f***ing asshole. You’re a piece of s***,” the man told the driver. “I should punch you in the f***ing face.”

“You’re going to threaten me? Assault?” Mr Bode responded. “You guys are racist f***s.”

“And you’re a f***ing asshole,” the man said as he shut the door of the vehicle, before adding: “F***ing N***** lover.”

Mr Bode warned them that he would call the police.

In his post on Facebook Mr Bode wrote: “There was a police report filed (only because of the assault threat) not sure if that will do anything... if you make me feel uncomfortable, I will absolutely do the same especially in my car or property. Yes they were made aware I was recording, yes I have postings in my car indicating such.”

His video has received more than 10,000 likes on Facebook and has been shared nearly 4,000 times.

In a follow-up post on Sunday, Mr Bode said: “For everyone reaching out and showing support, thank you. I appreciate it, truly.”

“But this is the way it should be everywhere, every time. I shouldn’t be ‘the guy’ who did it or said it… we should all be that person. Speak up if you’re uncomfortable with it because it makes them uncomfortable, as they should be. F*** racism.”

Police in Catasauqua confirmed that the woman seen in the video is the owner of Fossil’s Last Stand, Jackie Harford. They have begun an investigation into the matter, reported Lehigh Valley Live.

In a tweet on Sunday, Lyft lauded Mr Bode for his handling of the incident.

“We are incredibly grateful to Lyft driver @Jameswb333 for instantly shutting down this hate & upholding our no tolerance anti-discrimination policies. We’re looking into these riders & are in touch with James to show our thanks,” it said.

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