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‘There Needs to Be Another Prerequisite for Safety’: Mother and Daughter Suing After Being Terrorized by Racist Uber Driver During Ride

A Charleston, South Carolina, woman and her daughter are suing Uber following a terrifying ride during which their driver hurled racial slurs toward them both, drove erratically, and refused to let them out of the car.

South Carolina native Jovene Milligan, a 52-year-old administrative assistant at the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, and her daughter were heading to Charleston for Mother’s Day weekend when their car broke down in Aiken. After being told that due to COVID-19 protocol, they weren’t allowed to ride in the truck with their AAA driver, Milligan ordered an Uber to drive them to Columbia to meet their car.

According to Milligan’s lawsuit, the driver, identified as “Daniel,” asked where she and her daughter were from, and when they referred to themselves as “African Queens” the attack began. He called both ladies the N-word, which was captured on film by the victims, and began swerving and speeding on the highway.

“It got very scary, to the point where I didn’t know whether we’d have to protect ourselves,” Milligan told News 2. “The driver was erratic, driving recklessly, he was constantly calling us [expletives].”

“Daniel” would not let Milligan and her daughter out of the vehicle when asked and, in fear for their lives, she reached for a gun in her purse. “I was constantly monitoring his GPS to make sure we were still in route even though he wouldn’t let us out,” Milligan said.

After arriving at the car dealership, the suit claims that “Daniel” ended their trip by throwing out the passengers’ bags and shouting, “You (N-words) aren’t welcome in Aiken!”

In response to the incident, the women are suing Uber for negligent hiring, and the driver for assault, infliction of emotional distress, and false imprisonment. They are reportedly seeking a minimum of $5 million each in damages.

“This guy should not be driving. I work in law enforcement. If someone wants to volunteer at the jail, they have to have extensive background check just to visit an inmate,” Milligan told The State. “Just as Uber drivers have to have insurance on their vehicles, there needs to be another prerequisite for safety, like a camera installed in every vehicle.”

Milligan wants Uber to reexamine their safety measures to ensure nothing like this happens again. “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,” she stated.

Uber has since responded with a statement, confirming that they have removed the driver’s access to the app, but did not address any plans for further safety measures for passengers. “Everyone has a right to feel safe when using the Uber platform and what these riders experienced is extremely upsetting,” reads the statement. “We have a clear non-discrimination policy and we have removed this driver’s access to the app.”

Milligan is still recovering from the “traumatic” ordeal in the meantime. “It was traumatic. It still is traumatic. I’m literally waking up every morning just crying because I just think about all the different ways it could have went.”

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