A Uber passenger is hitting back at critics after his ride-share driver was ordered to return a charger she accused him of stealing after calling the police.
Roger Alexander posted a video on Instagram on Sept. 12 documenting an encounter with New York Uber driver Cherla Batista. He said Batista “stuffed” a USB cord under his seat and accused him of taking it.
After reviewing dash camera footage, the New York Police officers on the scene told the driver to return the cord to Alexander or she would be charged.
However, days later, Batista’s friend posted dash-camera footage, which she said is evidence that Alexander stole her cord, arguing that she was falsely accused of being a racist. In the video, Alexander called her a “Karen”— a slang often used in reference to a white woman who weaponizes white privilege.
On Sunday, Alexander responded, alleging Batista cut out a portion of the video that showed he pulled out his own charger from his bag. The social media saga has stirred mixed responses from commenters. Some are calling Alexander a liar, thief and “clout chaser.” While others point out that a group of NYPD officers viewed the video and ultimately ordered her to return, deeming her a Karen.
Batista’s footage posted online shows Alexander, who was accompanied by his girlfriend, asking the driver’s permission to use a cord that she already had near the middle console of the vehicle. His girlfriend pulls out her cord, which Alexander also plugs into the console. Her friend said Alexander tried to leave with both cords, and Batista stopped him.
“The charger doesn’t really matter. It’s the just the fact that they’re calling her racist because the cops were there, and he’s really not showing the real clip of the video where there is one, and it shows that he’s asking her to borrow the charger,” Batista’s friend narrates with the footage.
The friend said she wanted to speak out on Batista’s behalf because the driver is not a native English speaker.
“I really just want to clear her name and show that she’s not racist, that she has nothing to do with that and that there is a real like video showing that,” the friend said.
Many commenters turned on Alexander and accused him of using the footage to gain followers for his social media page. Some also accused him of using the race card.
Alexander is a film director and executive producer who has created content for TV One and VH1 and celebrities like Rick Ross, The Migos and Trey Songz, among others. He currently has more than 83,000 followers on Instagram. He also owns a rental boutique for filming equipment in Atlanta.
Alexander admitted to asking to borrow the driver’s cord. However, he said that the cord was too slow, so he pulled a cord from his bag.
Batista also posted three clips from the dash-camera footage on her page. One clip shows the couple getting out of the vehicle while the driver is speaking in Spanish. She honks her horn to get their attention.
“My charger,” Batista says, holding a charger in her hand.
“Uhh, I think—yours is down here,” Alexander replies, pointing to the middle console.
“No, this one’s me,” she says, motioning to the cord in Alexander’s hand.
“This one here,” he says.
“No, that’s me. That’s me,” Batista says, tugging the cord in the back of the vehicle and also pointing to the cord in Alexander’s hand outside the car.
Alexander gives Batista the cord but explains to the driver that he took out another cord.
“We had two chargers that were using back here. You only had one back here,” he said. “There was only one, so I took one out of my bag, and we got one charger. I added two. So, I unplugged yours, and then I put two of them in there that were ours.”
In Alexander’s video, he accuses Batista of calling the cops so she could steal his cord. It shows at least four police officers reviewing footage of the incident. About six officers responded to the call, the film director said.
“She called the cops so she can get away with taking my charger. Like she got it on camera, so I’m just like show the camera footage,” Alexander said.
“This Karen took my charger, stuffed it under her seat, and when I told her I wasn’t leaving until she gave it back, she called the cops like it was supposed to scare the Black people away,” he continued. “Now, I could have just let this go. It’s just a $20 charger, but I saw she had a dash cam recording, and it was the audacity and arrogance in this woman’s voice.”
Batista said the video didn’t load “quickly,” and there was also a language barrier.
“Even though I was the person who called about the theft, the police told me that I should return my charger because if I didn’t, I would go to jail, which made me feel very bad (because) I was working,” she wrote.
“It’s not fair that they tarnish my name, harm my job, my livelihood for likes,” she also wrote. “Please help me share the injustice of these two people.”