A gay Trump supporter has a lot of reckoning to do after a video of him confronting a black Lyft driver recently went viral.
In a video recorded by driver Shawn Pepas Lettman, three young men can be seen harassing Lettman after he allegedly refused to let them play music, reports Instinct Magazine. The initial argument is not captured on camera, but not getting their choice in music in someone else’s car was enough for the three men, who had been picked up by Lettman after a night out at a bar, to go off. One of the passengers, identified as New Yorker Robert Ortiz, decided to call the cops on Lettman, at which point Lettman decided to record the interaction.
In more than 16 minutes of footage, Ortiz calls police, Lyft, and a friend of his.
“I came out of a gay club and your driver is racist against gay people,” Ortiz said during one of the calls. “I called the police to protect myself because I know my legal rights as an American citizen that voted for Trump.”
Ortiz also vowed to make Lettman’s night “a living hell,” and, on a video call with a friend, can be heard saying, “Yo, Boo, tell me why I’m in a Lyft and the nigga fucking pulled over.”
“The nigga’s recording me without my consent, because I asked for music,” he said.
(Fun fact: New York is a one-party consent state, which means that it’s not only legal to phone record someone anytime, you can also video record people without their consent unless they have a reasonable expectation of privacy. Given that this was Lettman’s car and a share ride, we’re going to say Ortiz didn’t have that. #TheMoreYouKnow)
According to a GoFundMe Lettman set up after the incident, he ended up calling police himself, as he become concerned for his safety.
“Luckily there was no physical confrontation but the company I drive with felt it necessary to cancel my account pending investigation,” wrote the Brooklyn-based driver. “Unfortunately expenses weren’t suspended and I am left to dig myself out of an awfully stressful predicament.”
“As a father of 2 my single means of providing for my wife and children is driving a rideshare, accommodating people from all walks of life, All of which I treat with the utmost respect, after all I must provide for my family,” Lettman wrote.
Lettman added he was also concerned about rumors of an impending lawsuit over the recorded video, and wanted to raise money just in case anything was filed against him. As of Thursday morning, he surpassed his funding goal by more than $4,000.
As for Ortiz, Instinct reports he lost his job at CityMD after the video of his self-entitled antics was posted. And—a lesson for next time—because Ortiz dropped his number during the video, he was besieged with a flurry of less-than-flattering voicemails. According to Instinct, Ortiz was forced to change his number.