On April 17, a legally armed Uber driver in Chicago stopped what likely would have been a mass shooting.
Everardo Custodio opened fire into a crowd of people on a busy Friday night in Logan Square.
The Uber driver, a 47-year-old resident of Little Italy, has a concealed carry permit. He pulled out a handgun and fired six shots at Everardo Custodio, hitting him several times, according to court records.
Custodio was charged with aggravated assault and unlawful use of a weapon. The Uber driver provided police with a valid concealed-carry permit and a firearm owner's identification card. Assistant State's Attorney Barry Quinn said the driver "was acting in self-defense and in the defense of others." He was not charged in the incident.
So how did Uber respond to this heroic act?
They banned guns in all of their cars.
That's right – now, drivers AND passengers are barred from carrying guns in all Uber vehicles – even if the gun is legally owned and local laws permit open or concealed carry.
Uber used to defer to local laws, but changed their firearms policy on June 10.
The company's website has been updated with the new policy:
We seek to ensure that everyone using the Uber digital platform—both driver-partners and riders—feels safe and comfortable using the service. During a ride arranged through the Uber platform, Uber and its affiliates therefore prohibit possessing firearms of any kind in a vehicle. Any rider or driver found to have violated this prohibition may lose access to the Uber platform.
While Uber seems to be a safe means of transportation overall, there have been incidents that raise concerns over some of the company's policies and procedures.
For one, Uber has been accused of failing to conduct adequate background checks on their drivers. Earlier this year, Isagani Marin, a driver in Virginia Beach, pleaded guilty to assault and battery of a 13-year-old female passenger. The victim's mother is suing the company for failing to properly screen Marin, whose criminal history includes reckless driving and DUI convictions.
Marin isn't the only Uber driver who has been accused of criminal behavior. The website Who's Driving You lists incidents involving the transportation networking company and Lyft, its major competitor.
In September 2014, San Francisco Uber driver Patrick Karajah allegedly fractured a passenger's skull with a hammer.
Also in San Francisco: Uber driver Syed Muzaffar was charged with vehicular manslaughter after he killed a 6-year-old girl. He failed to yield to her family when they were walking on a crosswalk. Uber denied fault in that accident, claiming Muzaffer was not technically logged onto the Uber app at the time of the accident and was a contractor, not an employee of the company. Uber attorneys said Muzaffar passed a background check…but apparently Uber's process is flawed, or the company disregarded a serious incident in the man's driving record. Turns out, Muzaffar had a prior conviction for reckless driving, reports NBC:
Arrest records from Florida show that Syed Muzaffar was driving in excess of 100 mph on the Overseas Highway in Key West. According to the arrest record, Muzaffar improperly passed vehicles into oncoming traffic, causing a vehicle to pull off the road in order to avoid a head-on collision. The report also shows Muzaffar's wife and children were in the car.
In addition to criminal behavior by some Uber drivers and questionable background investigations by the company, another concern has been raised: yesterday, a privacy rights group filed a complaint against Uber with the Federal Trade Commission.
From EPIC's website:
EPIC has filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission, charging that Uber's plan to track users and gather contact details is an unlawful and deceptive trade practice. EPIC cites Uber's history of misusing customer data as one of many reasons the Commission must act. EPIC has also recommended comprehensive legislation for Uber and other similar companies. EPIC has previously pursued successful complaints at the FTC concerning Google,
Snapchat, and other firms. The complaints typically lead to investigations and then to settlements following a change in business practices.
No guns allowed, inadequate background checks, reckless and criminal behavior by drivers, and possible customer privacy violations? No thanks, Uber – I'd rather walk or take the bus.Facebook, Google Plus, & Twitter. You can also get Freedom Outpost delivered to your Amazon Kindle device here.