SACRAMENTO — A California woman is still visibly shaken days after she says her Lyft driver launched into a hate-riddled tirade while driving her to her hotel.
Jamie Thompson still fights back tears from the encounter. “My driver proceeded to go on an Islamophobic tirade and an abundance of other hate speech and how members of the LGBTQ community should be offed and perish from this earth,” she said.
Thompson lives in Sacramento but was on a business trip in Oakland when she hailed a Lyft back to her hotel. Thompson said she thinks a bag featuring the rainbow flag which was laid across her lap is what triggered her driver to start spewing hate.
“He started raising his voice, and I felt very threatened. I was very scared, but I couldn’t get out of the vehicle because we were on the freeway,” she said. “I was very, very frightened… I felt trapped.”
Thompson took out her phone and went live on her social media account. In the video, Thompson points the camera away from the driver, but you can still hear his voice in the background. “God said he made man… he made Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve,” the Lyft driver can be heard saying in the video.
“Wow, it’s very unfortunate that you feel that way,” Thompson responded.
The Lyft driver added, “God has laid down a program for what he calls right and then man wants to do whatever he wants in his own corrupt rules.”
Thompson reported her complaint to the ride share service immediately, but she said Lyft wasn’t very sympathetic to her concerns.
KTXL reached out to Lyft for comment on the matter and received the following statement:
“Lyft has a strict anti-discrimination policy and we are committed to maintaining an inclusive and welcoming community. The behavior described is completely at odds with our values as a company. As soon as we were made aware of this incident, we suspended the driver from the Lyft platform and reached out to the passenger to offer support.”
Thompson confirms the company reimbursed her for the ride with a $10 credit, but she said what she really wants is to see is a shift in training. “I think there needs to be something done to train drivers better, something done about the culture of Lyft,” she said.