June 6, 2014
By Stephanie West
Taxi driver Mohammad Ali Fahd was viciously beaten with the skateboard by an irate passenger who had harassed him thoughout the ride about where he was from. Mr. Fahd is a member of the New York Taxi Workers Alliance and is being represented by the union.
NYTWA is calling for a hate crime investigation and the immediate passage of the Taxi Driver Protection Act, which has already been introduced by Councilman Rory Lancman. The Lancman bill would mandate a sticker in every taxi: Warning: Assaulting a Taxi Driver is Punishable Up to 25 Years in Prison. NYTWA is calling for the warning to be placed on the back partition, the side door, and as a bumper sticker. NYTWA is also calling for the right of taxi drivers to ask passengers carrying would-be weapons to place them in the trunk.
"There is an enhanced sentencing penalty of 5 additional years for felonies where the victim is a taxi driver. All we're asking for is some semblance of protection through education so that taxi drivers don't have to face threat of violence on the job. The penalty exists, but the public doesn't know about it and the police and district attorneys ignore it", said Bhairavi Desai, Executive Director.