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Union Boss Blasts Bratton Over Uber Detective: 'This Isn't Ferguson'

By  Murray Weiss and Danielle Tcholakian | April 2, 2015 7:02pm 

 Michael Palladino said the verbal abuse of an Uber driver by an NYPD detective was
Michael Palladino said the verbal abuse of an Uber driver by an NYPD detective was "neither Ferguson nor Staten Island."
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DNAinfo/Sonja Sharp

CIVIC CENTER — The head of the NYPD detectives union lashed out Thursday at Police Commissioner Bill Bratton for his punishment of the detective caught on video screaming obscenities at an Uber driver.

Detectives Endowment Association boss Michael Palladino accused Bratton of taking "unprecedented" action against Detective Patrick Cherry, arguing that no one has ever been transferred and placed on modified duty for "verbal discourtesy."

"This is neither Ferguson nor Staten Island, but it is receiving equal attention," Palladino fumed, referring to the death of Eric Garner, killed last year by an NYPD officer in Staten Island caught on video dragging Garner to the ground by his neck while Garner pleaded that he couldn't breathe.

Bratton placed Cherry on modified duty two days after the video of him railing against the Uber driver surfaced on YouTube. Cherry was stripped of his gun and badge and removed from his elite post working alongside FBI agents in the Joint Terrorism Task Force.

In the video, recorded by an Uber passenger, Cherry delivers an angry tirade at the cabbie, and demands to know how long the driver, who speaks with a South Asian accent, has been in the United States.

"No good cop can watch that [video] without a wince," Bratton said when he announced Cherry's punishment. “That officer’s behavior reflected poorly on everyone who wears that uniform.”

"I respect Commissioner Bratton and I understand his comments since he represents management," Palladino said Thursday, adding that labor unions exist because "there is always more to a person and an employee than management's eyes can see."

The NYPD did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Meanwhile, a group of taxi and livery drivers and South Asian immigrants plan to rally on Friday near Penn Station, maintaining that Cherry's actions in the video are emblematic of a "pervasive disrespect for the South Asian community" by the NYPD and other New York City agencies.

The Civilian Complaint Review Board is investigating the complaint against Cherry, but sources have said it is unlikely the detective will be fired.