Fingerprint-based criminal background checks

These Uber Incidents Could Have Been Avoided


Fingerprint-based criminal background checks can review an individual’s full criminal history. Private background checks can’t.

Why is this important for effectively screening Uber and Lyft drivers? Below are a couple recent cases that show why.

A Broward County, Florida Uber driver was recently arrested for drugging and robbing her passenger, who was returning home from the airport.  The driver been charged with burglary and grand theft.

According to the passenger, the Uber driver offered him water which he now believes was drugged. If you watch this video, you’ll see the male passenger’s knees suddenly buckle as if he’s going to pass out. This video was captured by the passenger’s home-security camera.

Later, the Uber driver can be seen on camera removing items from the passenger’s house. The driver reportedly stole cash, a gun, and tax returns which could enable identity theft. The passenger woke up the next day at three in the afternoon.

Ugh. Welcome home.

Here’s the thing. According to news reports, in 2012 this Uber driver was arrested for—but never charged with—second-degree grand theft.

Arrested for theft just five years back. Now charged with burglary and grand theft.

Here’s a similar situation days apart in Atlanta, Georgia.

A pregnant Uber passenger alleges she was attacked and kicked by her Uber driver. After the driver and the passenger got into a verbal conflict, the driver allegedly threw the passenger down and mashed her head into the ground. The passenger’s friend cried out that the victim was pregnant, whereupon the Uber driver reportedly began kicking her in the stomach.

The passenger was two months pregnant. She still is. According to news reports, the Uber driver was formally charged with aggravated assault.

This episode is inconceivable except for one key predictor. A local news station looked into the driver’s criminal history and found she was reportedly arrested two years ago for “simple battery.”

Simple battery is generally defined as the unlawful use of force to the body of another person. Again, it appears the driver was arrested, but never convicted.

Arrested for simple battery two years back. Charged with assault today.

We’re sure you’re getting point: Examining a driver’s full criminal history indicates what he or she might do when afforded an opportunity or placed under enough pressure. Private background checks—the type Uber and Lyft petulantly demand to use—can’t report arrests lacking convictions which could indicate a prospective driver is wrong for the job.

Lawmakers should act to protect Uber and Lyft passengers.

1 Comment
  • Bob heck

    February 28, 2017 at 9:36 pm Reply

    They need to screen their passengers better also . I was an Uber driver until a passenger shot heroin in my back seat . I thought the guy was dead . Fortunately he woke up . A police officer friend told me that if we got pulled over and he threw drugs on my floor and said they weren’t his then I could be charged with possession . I contacted Uber about this passenger and their response was that they would monitor his account for similar complaints. They need to screen them better in the beginning before law biding Uber drivers get a drug record because some druggie in our cars won’t admit that their his drugs .

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