Witnesses claim abuse by Atlanta police of Uber driver - CBS46 News

Witnesses claim abuse by Atlanta police of Uber driver

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Atlanta's Uber and Lyft drivers are claiming abuse by the Atlanta Police Department. They have video showing a police confrontation with an Uber driver all because of a decal in the wrong place.

Wanda Miller says the officers did her a huge favor because now she has on tape what she calls repeated mistreatment by officers toward ride sharing drivers.

Miller was a witness Wednesday during an exchange where an Uber driver was parked in the Rideshare Assembly Lot used by Uber and Lyft drivers waiting to pick up passengers from Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.

The man was identified by Atlanta police as 31-year-old Stanley Speller. 

Witnesses say Speller was aggressively questioned for allegedly hanging his Uber decal incorrectly. 

Miller says Speller was attempting to hang up a phone call before he was removed out of his car by the officer. Towards the end of the video, the officer shoves Speller into a patrol car, hitting his head on the car.

The officer then turns to those recording and spells his name, identifying himself as Officer Crossen.

CBS46 reached out to Atlanta police who says Speller wouldn't provide identification to an officer and allegedly refused to step out of his car when asked to by authorities, despite the fact that police say he was told he was under arrest.

The entire statement from Atlanta police spokesperson Carlos Campos is provided below:

Uber and Lyft drivers are required by permit to display a decal issued by the airport. To ensure safe and efficient operations at the Rideshare Assembly Area (RAA), Atlanta Police and airport representatives patrol the lot throughout the day. The decals - more commonly referred to as hang tags - must be visible; most drivers hang the decals from their rearview mirror.  

The tags offer APD and airport representatives visual proof of the operator's right to serve as a permitted TNC (Transportation Network Company) driver on airport property, and are necessary to provide for the safety of drivers, passengers, operations representatives, and law enforcement personnel. The decals do not offer specific identification of the TNC drivers; the decals are used only to give law enforcement officers or airport representatives proof that the driver is affiliated with a permitted TNC. A law enforcement officer or representative of the airport may inspect a driver's identification or a Waybill (found on the driver's smartphone) at any time.

In this particular instance, the driver in the RAA - identified later as Stanley Speller, age 31 - did not have his decal properly displayed and was asked by an Atlanta Police vehicles for hire representative to provide identification. Mr. Speller refused to comply, became upset and began using profanity. An Atlanta Police officer was called to the scene, and Mr. Speller repeatedly chose to refuse to provide identification. The officer informed Mr. Speller he was under arrest and ordered him to step out of his car. Mr. Speller refused to step out of the car, forcing the officer to remove him from it. Mr. Speller resisted arrest, but was eventually handcuffed and taken to the Clayton County jail. He is charged with disorderly conduct and obstruction of officers.

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