NYC Taxi Union Head, Fernando Mateo, Tells Drivers to 'Use Profiling'

Fernando MateoNew York City head of the taxi union Fernando Mateo told drivers to use profiling before picking up a fare. Mateo threw out this rhetorical bomb after Queens driver Trevor Bell had been shot by a rider assumed to be Hispanic.

Mateo, who is Hispanic and has a black father, didn't mince words, declaring, "I don't care about racial profiling. You know, sometimes it is good we are racially profiled, because the God's honest truth is that 99 percent of the people that are robbing, stealing, killing these drivers are blacks and Hispanics... So if you see suspicious activity, you know what? Don't pick that person up."

No surprise, the powers that be in the city's cabbie world and in politics pushed back against Mateo's passionate call for profiling. Taxi and Limousine Commissioner David Yassky, for example, pointed out the deciding which passengers to pick up on the basis of race or ethnic origin is illegal and unacceptable.

Mateo's stand can open the door to plenty of negative activity, ranging from lawsuits against the deep pockets in the taxi loop to violent protests. In addition, it could invite copycat shootings of cabbies.

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