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Uber fires Tallahassee driver who used racial slur at black rider

Posted at 4:58 PM, May 09, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-09 17:00:09-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — A Tallahassee man is speaking out, after being harassed by his Uber driver.

He was on his way to work Thursday morning, when he said his driver stared calling him the "N" word. That's when he pulled out his phone, started recording, and posted the video on social media.

On Facebook, Javon O'Neal said, "Racism still exists." He's a black man. His Uber driver was white.

We've bleeped out the racial slur the driver used, but Javon's loved ones say these kinds of moments happen all the time.

O'Neal just got a new job and was heading into work Thursday morning for orientation.

He doesn't have a car, so he had an Uber driver pick him up near his house.

On the eight minute ride, Javon said the driver listed as "Michael" on the app started talking race and politics.

But then, he said Michael started saying the "N" word to the point where Javon opened his Snapchat account to see if he'd say it again.

"I'm still terrified about it," said Quita Conyers, Javon's mother.

Conyers said her son handled the situation well, but that things could've easily taken a turn for the worst.

"I know for a fact if my son would've scratched his head, he might've been dead today," said Conyers.

In a statement Javon sent to Uber, he said, "This ride made me feel very uncomfortable emotionally and exhausted and not comfortable with getting another Uber."

"Why can you be Caucasian, but I can't be African-American," said Asia Jarmon, Javon's girlfriend.

Jarmon's is the one who called for the Uber. She said the driver didn't choose his words carefully.

"It's 2018, but it's still going on," said Jarmon.

We also contacted the Tallahassee branch of the NAACP and are waiting to hear back.

VIDEO: Tallahassee Uber driver caught on camera calling rider the 'N' word

Tallahassee Uber driver caught on camera calling rider the 'N' word

A viewer has sent in video of a Uber driver in Tallahassee calling a rider the 'N' word.

The video was sent in by Quita Tynes, who is the mother of the man shown in the video.

She says her son called up an Uber to go to work Thursday morning. As soon as he got in, however, the driver began making comments like, "I'm only doing this for a favor..." and "You're living in a white man's world..."

He also allegedly called her son the 'N' word multiple times before the recording started. In the video, the driver can be heard giving "a Caucasian person's opinion."

The driver then says, "You're a [expletive] okay? There's no other way to put it. I don't like it." The video cuts off with the driver saying, "You're a nice..."

Once Tynes' son got out of the car, he called her, shaken and close to tears. She said she and her son were scared to get the media involved at first but later agreed their story needed to be shared.

So Tynes reached out to WTXL.

Tynes also sent a picture of the alleged driver's profile. According to the profile, the driver's name is 'Michael,' and is from Duluth, Minnesota. The picture shows he has a 3.24 star rating on Uber.

We reached out to Uber, who sent us the following statement:

“Uber does not tolerate any form of discrimination, and we have been in contact with this rider to offer our support. As soon as we were made aware of this, we removed the driver’s access from the app.” - Uber Spokesperson
Uber has a non-discrimination policy, which can be found here and also has a 24/7 customer support team that investigates incidents like this.