CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – Uber and one of it’s drivers are under fire after a number of racial slurs were used against a Charleston woman and her daughter last Friday. The rider and her daughter hope this incident will lead to passenger safety changes company-wide for Uber.
Jovene Milligan and her daughter were driving from Atlanta to Charleston when their car broke down in Aiken. They had to Uber from Aiken to Charleston, and were berated by the driver during the trip.
In several videos sent to News 2, the driver can be heard screaming racial slurs while driving erratically, at times with no hands on the wheel.
“It got very scary, to the point where I didn’t know whether we’d have to protect ourselves,” says Milligan. “The driver was erratic, driving recklessly, he was constantly calling us [explitves].”
Milligan says that the driver wouldn’t let them out of the car, and at times, she didn’t know if they’d survive.
“I was constantly monitoring his GPS to make sure we were still in route even though he wouldn’t let us out,” says Milligan.
Shaken from the event, Milligan says the video highlights a larger problem within Uber – a lack of physical and verbal safety protocols for passengers. Milligan says her Attorney Sean Wilson has filed a lawsuit against the company and driver in hopes of change.
“I’m not sure how extensive the background checks are but this person is not somebody that should be driving anybody,” says Milligan. “We we’re not treated with any type of respect.”
Milligan’s attorney Wilson says the lawsuit has been filed in California, where Uber is headquartered. Wilson believes new safety measures should go beyond stricter background checks.
“Making sure that if something does happen to somebody, that they have a panic or emergency button. That way… we can track it down and get to some help,” says Milligan.
Milligan says she was just thankful her and her daughter made it to Charleston safely.
“It was scary, it got very scary,” says Milligan.
We reached out to Uber, who told us that they removed the driver’s access to the app upon learning of the case. They also provided the following statement:
“Everyone has a right to feel safe when using the Uber platform and what these riders experienced is extremely upsetting. We have a clear non-discrimination policy and we have removed this driver’s access to the app.”