An attack on an Uber driver in San Francisco over the weekend by a passenger who allegedly refused to wear a face mask sparked outrage after video of the incident surfaced Tuesday.
The incident occurred in the city on Sunday after the driver, Subhakar Khadka, picked up three women. In a 43 second video clip filmed by Khadka and aware On Twitter via local media, an unmasked woman is seen in the back of the car coughing in Khadka’s face and yelling at him. Seconds later, the woman snatches Khadka’s cell phone from her hand and removes the mask from her face. She and another passenger continue to yell at the driver and threaten to hit him. Khadka claims that he then got out of the car before one of the passengers sprayed him with pepper spray.
“You are animals to treat other human beings like that,” Khadka told the local news outlet KPIX.
Khadka says he was assaulted after trying to eject the group from his car for refusing to follow Uber’s masking policy, which requires passengers to wear a face cover while traveling. Khadka, who told KPIX that he is originally from Nepal and has lived in the United States for eight years, also said he believed he was targeted because of his race and accent.
“If I had another complexion, I would not have received that treatment from them. The moment I opened my mouth to speak, they realized that I was among one of them, so it is easy for them to intimidate me, “he told the outlet in an interview.
The incident comes as the San Francisco Bay Area has taken into account attacks against elderly Asian residents and as violence against Asian-Americans has increased across the country during the pandemic.
in a video posted on Instagram, the unmasked woman admitted that she had been mistaken for coughing in Khadka, but said she feared for her safety and that of her fellow travelers because Khadka allegedly tried to kick them out in an unfamiliar area and refused to wait until a new carpool arrived. .
The incident, along with Uber’s compensation for Khadka (the company reportedly offered him just $ 20 to cover the cleaning fee, then increased it to $ 120), underscore the precarious nature of the gig economy and protections. limited services offered to drivers, even as the pandemic escalates. his most dangerous job.
On Tuesday, Cyan Banister, one of Uber’s early investors, started a fundraiser in Gofundme for Khadka so he could get the pepper spray residue out of his car and make up for lost wages.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism