Cop Filmed Berating an Uber Driver Will Be Transferred Out of Elite Unit

The New York cop caught on camera insulting and yelling at an Uber driver who dared to suggest he use his blinker is being transferred from his current position on an elite joint terrorism task force, officials said Wednesday.

One of the passengers in the car told reporters the incident began when the driver gestured at the officer, who was apparently attempting to back into a parking spot without using a blinker.

Within a day of the footage going viral, Police Commissioner Bill Bratton announced Detective Patrick Cherry had been temporarily stripped of his gun and badge and placed on "modified duty." Reports the Post:

Detective Patrick Cherry has been removed from the department's elite Joint Terrorism Task Force and will be doing desk duty until he is officially transferred out of the prestigious division.

"No good cop should watch that video without a wince," Commissioner Bill Bratton said at a Wednesday press conference. "Because all good cops know that officer just made their jobs a little bit harder."

"In that kind of encounter, anger like that is unacceptable," Bratton reportedly said. "In any encounter, discourtesy and obscene language like that is unacceptable.

Contact the author of this post at gabrielle@gawker.com

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Chris Rock Sure Gets Pulled Over a Lot

Chris Rock Sure Gets Pulled Over a Lot

Wow Chris Rock must be a terrible driver, or something.

The actor, who's been posting selfies each time he's stopped by a cop, apparently got pulled over at least three times in the last two months. The settings vary—day, night, driver's seat, backseat—but the message is the same: "wish me luck."

Rock hasn't commented publicly about his traffic stop Groundhog Day, but he has told Jerry Seinfeld he feels unsafe on the road—despite his fame.

"It'd be such a better episode if he pulled me to the side and beats the shit out of me, don't you think? Now here's the crazy thing: If you weren't here, I'd be scared. I'm famous, still black. Right now, I'm looking for my license right now," Rock said last year when the duo got pulled over on an episode of Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee.

Stopped by the cops again wish me luck. pic.twitter.com/6t0wlgwkrJ

— Chris Rock (@chrisrock) March 31, 2015

I'm not even driving stop by the cops again http://t.co/yTPPPjcKEO

— Chris Rock (@chrisrock) February 28, 2015

Just got pulled over by the cops wish me luck http://t.co/pey2XAp6uu

— Chris Rock (@chrisrock) February 13, 2015

Stop by the cops wish me luck http://t.co/GKE2oKnAYR

— Chris Rock (@chrisrock) April 18, 2014

Seems a little much! Equally surprising is that the DMV haven't revoked his license based on the multitude of traffic infractions he appears to be incurring on such a regular basis. (Based on the unbruised selfies, however, it's assumed he didn't run any stop signs.)

Still, could the solution be fully within Rock's control? You're a successful movie star, maybe you should drive a crappier car. Didja ever think of that?

I sold my $90,000.00 Mercedes G500 and bought 3 Prius's, because I got tired of being pulled over by Police. #Adapt @chrisrock

— Isaiah Washington (@IWashington) April 1, 2015

Good luck Chris Rock.

[image via AP]

Gaza Man

When Banksy lands in a city and begins a street art-making spree, there's a routine that usually follows. First, the stenciled paintings are ignored, then, after people realize what they are, they are gawked at and occasionally vandalized. Eventually, they are cordoned off and protected from the public, and finally, they are physically removed, and someone makes a lot of money, or hopes to. An extreme version of this complex lottery played out for one unlucky family in Gaza recently.

The anonymous British artist visited the war-torn region in February, painting a series of works including the crying goddess Niobe above. Rabie Darduna, who owns the decimated house that Banksy used as his canvas, told the BBC that he was hustled into selling the Niobe door for just 700 shekels, or about $175. His works regularly fetch five and six figures at auction.

The Darduna family property was one of some 18,000 in Gaza that were destroyed during last year's 50-day war with Israel, displacing 110,000 people, according to the United Nations.

"It was a two-storey building but only the door was left standing," says Mr Darduna. "Then a young, foreign man came and painted on it."

...

They convinced him they were acting on behalf of the artist and wanted to buy the door, as it was part of a series of works.

"They said they wanted to put it in a museum in Gaza where everyone could see it," Mr Darduna explains.

"One man told me: 'We're from the group that did it.' They made me sign a paper. It said I agreed on 700 shekels. They pressured me and I accepted because I need the money."

In 2015, Banksy is purely an economic phenomenon. The financial squabbling that follows in his wake is almost always more interesting than the uninspired artwork that sparked it. He may as well be dropping bags full of freshly minted money behind him.

A spokesman for the artist told the BBC that Banksy believes the door should be returned to its rightful owner—and it certainly sounds like Darduna's family could use the cash. Maybe Banksy can just paint another one?

Image via YouTube. Contact the author at andy@gawker.com.

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Benghazi Committee Wants to Talk to Hillary’s Private Spy

Benghazi Committee Wants to Talk to Hillary's Private Spy

The House committee investigating the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi wants to talk to Sidney Blumenthal, the former Hillary Clinton aide who ran a private intelligence network for the former secretary of state, Gawker has learned.

Rep. Mike Pompeo, a Republican member of the House Select Committee on Benghazi, confirmed the committee's interest in an interview with conservative talk-radio host Hugh Hewitt that will air later this evening. "The committee will speak with Mr. Blumenthal," Pompeo told Hewitt. It was not immediately clear if Pompeo intended to call Blumenthal to testify publicly, or to interview him in private.

Update: Here is the interview.

Dana Chipman, the chief counsel to the committee, told Gawker that he couldn't confirm Pompeo's statement. But if the committee were to talk to Blumenthal, he said, it would most likely "seek to bring him in for a transcribed interview. [But] we have not formally invited him to do anything."

Blumenthal could not immediately be reached for comment.

The committee has been battling Clinton over access to her private email server. Gawker and ProPublica reported last week that, according to hacked emails from Blumenthal's account, he had been forwarding detailed intelligence memos on Benghazi and other matters to her private email address. The emails showed that Blumenthal had planned with Tyler Drumheller, a former CIA officer, to send a four-man team into Libya in 2011 at a cost of $60,000 on an undetermined mission.

They also showed that Blumenthal helped another former Clinton Administration official, former ambassador to Germany John Kornblum, lobby Clinton on behalf of Georgian politician Bidzina Ivanishvili, apparently in violation of the Foreign Agents Registration Act.

Photo: Flickr

Contact the author at biddle@gawker.com.
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