Ohio Man Arrested After Video Surfaces of Him Berating Black Uber Driver, Calling 911 to Make False Claim

An Uber passenger has been arrested and charged after a Black Uber driver reported an attack. Uber driver Abdelkadre Khamis Ahmat and the Ohio chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Ohio) shared the video of the May 28 incident on Tuesday, June 8. The video shows 60-year-old Michael Winterman calling Ahmat the N-word and telling him he hopes he gets shot after confusion over finding the passenger’s address in Cincinnati the driver’s GPS stopped working.

According to court documents, Winterman “was attempting to start a fight while he was highly intoxicated and damaged Ahmat’s car “in a fit of rage.” After the incident, Ahmat was fired from Uber, however, later reinstated after the drive-share company saw footage of the incident.

CAIR-Ohio staff attorney Lina Abbaoui said in a press release that Ahmat should not have been fired following an incident during which he was the victim. “As the victim, he should be supported rather than punished,” she said, adding that Winterman should face hate crimes charges.

After the news conference, Uber released a statement saying it was the first they’d seen of the video. “

This is the first we’ve seen of the video, and what is shown is appalling and unacceptable. Violence and discrimination have no place on the Uber platform. We’ve been attempting to reach out to the driver to get more information since the incident was first reported to us last month. We are reactivating the driver’s account and the rider has been banned from Uber.” Uber also stated its policy is to suspend both the driver and passenger during an investigation.

On May 27, Ahmat was driving Winterman to his home from a Covington, Kentucky bar when he asked the passenger to clarify his address.

“We are in your neighborhood, tell me where to go,” Ahmat said. Winterman responding saying she was going to call 911.

“Sir, call them, call them,” Ahmat replied.

“He does not know where the hell he is,” Winterman told the 911 operator.

“Um…OK,” the operator replied.

“He is threatening me and I’m not getting out unless I know where I’m at in the neighborhood,” Winterman added.

“No one is threatening you. You are intoxicated,” Ahmat said.

After Winterman got off the phone with 911, he told Ahmat, “I hope to hell you get shot,” adding “n-gger!” before getting out the car. Winterman then hit Ahmat’s vehicle. When Ahmat got out the video ended, but according to the driver Winterman told him to remember “you are Black and I am white,” then punched him in the shoulder. Then, Winterman fell and began wiping blood on Ahmat’s car before police eventually came to the scene.

Winterman told WLWT he had didn’t fall but was punched and left with multiple broken bones. He also said he suffers from Tourette’s syndrome and had no control over what he was saying in his explanation of the racial slur. Winterman was dropped off about a block from his home.

Ahmat says he provided Uber with a copy of the footage the next day however, his access to the app was removed. Along with calls for Ahmat to be reinstated, CAIR-Ohio is demanding that Uber provide monetary compensation for work time lost and damages.

Winterman has since been charged with one count of ethnic intimidation, disorderly conduct along with criminal damaging. Winterman was bond was set at $26,000 during a June 10 hearing.

Orangeburg Massacre (1968)

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