A Tempe CEO's racist tirade against a black Uber driver and Arizona State University student is attracting international attention and has prompted the victim, Randy Clarke, to take action against the irate passenger.
It all began around 9 p.m. last Friday night, January 31, when Clarke, a senior at ASU who has been working as an Uber driver for years, accepted a ride request from Agroplasma CEO Hans Berglund.
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Berglund became infuriated when Clarke asked him to sit in the back seat. Berglund initially refused to sit in the back seat, told Clarke to cancel the ride, but then got into the back seat and refused to leave when asked. He then accused Clarke of kicking him out because he is white and called Clarke a "fucking nigger."
Clarke has since gone public about the racist encounter, speaking with reporters at ABC15 and organizing a press conference, which is being held outside Tempe City Hall at 10:30 a.m. today.
Jarrett Maupin, a controversial local civil rights activist who is representing Clarke, sent a press release to reporters on Wednesday morning stating that he intends to release written complains to Tempe's Human Relations Commission and the Arizona Attorney General about the incident. Clarke is also seeking a meeting with Berglund and an apology for his actions.
As videos captured by Clarke's dashcams show, Berglund attempted to get into the front seat after Clarke pulled up.
"Mind sitting in the back?" Clarke immediately asks.
"No, yeah, I don't like to sit there," Berglund responds.
"I don't like when people sit in the front," Clarke says. There are several signs posted on Clarke's vehicle which state passengers can only sit in the front seat if there are parties of three or more — a policy Clarke began, with Uber's approval, after an intoxicated male passenger sitting in the front seat sexually assaulted him by grabbing his crotch in 2018.