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Fare: Instead Of Cab Ride, She Got Epithets
by Thomas MacMillan | Sep 7, 2010 12:42 pm
Posted to: Legal Writes, Wooster Square
At 8:30 p.m., Angel Ogden Stanley and her five kids climbed into a Metro Taxi. Moments later, they were back on the street, after the cab driver allegedly subjected them to racist epithets and then spat on Stanley’s 6-year-old daughter.
That’s Stanley’s version of what happened last week on Tuesday evening.
Stanley, who’s black, said she was trying to get home from a visit to her mother’s house with her kids when a white Metro Taxi driver started dropping the word “nigger” and telling her black people are “born dirty.” The driver then offered to “give [her] kids a bath” and spat on little Jaday, Stanley said.
It’s an incident that Stanley has struggled to understand and that she worries has left her 6-year-old deeply confused and upset.
In a statement, Metro Taxi president Bill Scalzi dismissed Taylor’s accusations: “We have reviewed the complaint and have no reason to believe it has any merit. Our driver, [who] has been with Metro Taxi for 23 years without any previous customer complaints, denies the accusation.”
Stanley is not willing to let the matter drop. She has reported the incident to the police. Her lawyer, Michael Jefferson, said he will work to have the driver removed from his cab and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
“This guy’s a lunatic,” Jefferson said. “He’s a danger.”
This isn’t the first allegation of racial epithets being used by Metro Taxi cabbies. In May 2009, another Metro Taxi customer complained of receiving a voicemail filled with the word “nigger” after a taxi mix-up led to a lost fare.
Here’s what happened on Tuesday night, according to Stanley:
Stanley, who’s 25, was visiting her mom in the Farnam Court housing project on New Haven’s Grand Avenue, where she grew up as the youngest of 14 children. She had her four kids, ranging from 1 to 6 years old, with her, as well as her 14-year-old niece, for whom she’s legal guardian. At around 8:15, she called Metro Taxi for a ride back to her house in Ansonia.
Ten or 15 minutes later, Metro Taxi cab number 181 showed up. It was driven by a heavyset white guy who looked to be in his mid-50s.
“We all got in the back seat,” Stanley recalled. “I said, ‘Do not pull off. Can we discuss the fare? Can I have a flat rate?’”
Stanley said she often negotiates a flat rate with cab drivers for out-of-town trips. She’s never had a problem before.
“My flat rate is $50,” she recalled the cabbie telling her.
She told him that was way more than she usually pays. He said his price was firm.
“It’s too steep for me,” Stanley said. She told him she would cancel the cab and call another. She got out of the car with her kids. But 3-year-old James wouldn’t leave the backseat. “Mommy, I want to go home,” he said.
“Come on, James,” she said.
“You don’t want to pay me?” the cabbie asked Stanley, she said.
“Pay you for what?” she replied.
“This is why I don’t pick up niggers now,” the cabbie then reportedly said. Stanley said he used a normal tone of voice.
“Excuse me?” Stanley said. “What did you say?”
“You heard me, bitch,” the cabbie said, according to Stanley. He repeated his statement.
“You black niggers are always looking for a handout,” he reportedly went on. “You don’t do what you’re born to do and that’s pick cotton. Go back to the plantation.” Stanley said he told her black people were “born dirty.”
Stunned, Stanley didn’t respond. She reached in and “snatched” her son from the back seat. “I’m going to pray for you,” she said to the cabbie.
“You know what, I’m going to give your kids a bath,” the driver allegedly said.
“And that’s when he spat on my daughter,” Stanley said.
The driver spat out the window, hitting 6-year-old Jaday on her arm, she said.
Then he stepped on the accelerator and the cab “squealed” away.
“Mommy, he’s nasty, he spat on me,” Jaday said to her mom.
Stanley said she had never before experienced anything like it in her life. It was like a scene you might see on TV about another person’s life, she said. When it happened to her, she was shocked. “I was literally stuck and frozen. I had no words to give [the driver] back.”
Recovering, Stanley picked up the phone and called Metro Taxi. She spoke with a supervisor about what had happened. He apologized, she recalled.
“I can’t tell you not to call the police,” the supervisor said, according to Stanley. “But we can handle this civilly and I can send another cab to you.”
“This is not about the ride anymore,” Stanley said.
She then called the police. The dispatcher told her that an officer would be sent to speak with her. “We waited, and waited, and waited. No police car,” Stanley said.
Meanwhile, another Metro Taxi pulled up. “This is a complimentary cab,” the driver said.
Stanley refused it. The driver, a black man, asked to hear what had happened. Hearing the story, he said cabbies have been complaining about that driver making racist comments about other drivers. “Go all the way with this,” the cabbie told Stanley, according to Stanley.
Eventually, Stanley got a ride home from a friend.
The next day, Stanley was taking Jaday to her first day at Conte/West Hills school via a public bus. “We get on the bus and my daughter asks me, ‘What’s a nigger?’” Stanley said.
She told her not to worry about it and changed the subject. Later, she went to the police station and reported Tuesday night’s incident.
The next day, Thursday, Stanley again took her daughter to school. Jaday again asked her question. She was clearly still processing Tuesday’s incident, and struggling to understand the meaning of what happened. “Mommy the guy called you a bitch and a nigger. He spat on me.”
“I don’t have a response for her,” Stanley said. She said she does her best not to expose her children to casual uses of the word “nigger” or “bitch.” She asked Jaday what she thought the driver meant when he used those words.
Jaday said, “I think he was calling you beautiful in an angry way,” Stanley recalled.
Like her daughter, Stanley said she’s also struggling to come to terms with the cabbie confrontation. “I know it happened, but I don’t feel like it happened,” she said.
Stanley said an apology from Metro Taxi won’t suffice. Money won’t help either. “I want it acknowledged in public,” she said. She said she wants public recognition that black people still face vicious racism. “We are still living a slavery life.”
Jefferson Calls For Conviction
“I don’t know why he hasn’t been arrested,” said attorney Jefferson of the cab driver. “When adults feel like they can do that to children, they need to be removed from our society.”
“I think he’s sick. God knows what’s next,” Jefferson said. “He should lose his license.”
Jefferson said he plans to monitor closely the cab driver’s arrest and eventual conviction, to ensure he is prosecuted fully. He said he may pursue a civil suit against the cabbie and Metro Taxi in the future.
“I’m very angry about this,” Jefferson said. If the cabbie spits on even children, “the rest of us don’t stand a chance. He’s a danger.”
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Thank you, Ms. Stanley, for standing up and speaking about this. Most people would not be as brave, as determined. But please don’t hide the meaning of the N-word from your daughter. Tell her, and tell her about Ruby Bridges, Dr. King, and everyone who fought for her. And make her proud of going to school, and not being hateful, like that man was towards her.
Isn’t it illegal to have a 1 year old child in car without a car seat? Also, 5 people plus a driver crammed in a car? That sounds like the real issue here!
Blame it on the racist blogs and irresponsible newspapers that allow people to comment online with the most defamatory, demeaning and racist remarks one could possibly imagine.
Closet racists are no longer confined to the closet. Newspaper comment areas have given them the courage to say the things that they most likely always thought but discussed in private; now they feel free to say these things publicly but still under the cloak of anonymity.
This comment is not directed to the New Haven Independent. There appears to be a degree of responsibility in the monitoring of their comment area. It is, however, directed to a local “rag” that seems to encourage this type of racist ranting.
Get them Mike!
What a terrible thing to do. That cab driver should be punished to the fullest and this mother should push it as far as it will go what a terrible thing to do with her kids in that cab and spat on a child. He should be be fired what if someone did that to his family You go girl hope all works out for you.
Leave it to someone like you to say those things think about the Mother and her kids no one should be treated that way what difference if there were ten people in that cab no one has the right to act that way. PLEASE
“The real issue” is that she and her family should feel safe when hiring transport home. “The real issue” is that even if the driver is a racist, he can be one privately, but not when working with the public and especially when it involves women and children. “The real issue” is that until Metro makes amends, they should be boycotted and lose business. The only thing that corporate America understands is the loss of revenue.
In NYC, you can have five passengers in a cab as long as children are under 5, I don’t know what the rules are here in CT. Having a child in a car without a seat is dangerous, but that is not the issue.
Do cabs have CCTV?
Did i see a “lawyer” make and unfounded statement regarding the cabbie that “he’s a lunatic, he’s a danger” Could that be defamation of one’s character?? Or is that one’s opinion or accusation??? If i were the cabbie i know i wouldn’t be to happy with Mr. Jefferson’s choice of words.
How on Earth can you not see that THE REAL ISSUE IS THAT A CHILD WAS ALLEGEDLY ASSULTED BY AN ADULT! I don’t care what was said between the driver and the mother, if he spat on a 6 year old child he needs to be prosecuted. It is absolutely NEVER OK for an adult to spit on or strike a 6 year child and this issue needs to be investigated by the New Haven Police Department.
BS. I really call BS on this. Witnesses? In a housing project someone would have seen this and come forward.
So bizarre its hard to believe, but its also so bizarre its hard to believe that somebody would make up such a story.
Generally speaking, the words Mr. Jefferson used would not be considered slander (the verbal form of defamation), because they can’t be proven true or untrue. In other words it can’t be proven whether the driver is, in fact a “lunatic” or a “danger.” Some might agree that he is, while others might not.
Such words are essentially just “opinions” rather than statements asserting factual truth. They’re no more defamatory than saying, “That guy’s a jerk!” So I’d say the words Mr. Jefferson used do not meet the definition of defamation.
Yeah, I’m an attorney if you’re wondering.
posted by: joebrummer on September 7, 2010 7:32pm
This is one side of the story and no one has heard the driver’s side. While I understand the blame game, the who should pay game and the name calling, I also understand none of that will change racism in America or New Haven. It would be more helpful for everyone involved to sit down, discuss and learn from this incident. The who is right and who is wrong game won’t solve a thing. Compassion, understanding, empathy and forgiveness are what will make real change.
I would advise that those involved call Community Mediation, Inc. and make arrangements to sit down and hear each other out. The cost of that is much less than lawsuits and other tactics. Rather than seeking out punishment, seek out healing. I see more coming from dialogue and healing then I do the blame game. The poet Rumi said it well. “Out there beyond the ideas of right-doing and wrong-doing there is a field, I will meet you there”
Personally I think both parties need to take a serious look at themselves. Firstly, Stanley puts 5 kids in the back seat of a cab… Secondly she puts children all under 5 years old in a car without using proper child restraints… Then she admits that she doesn’t want to pay the legal metered fare. I’m sorry but who is setting a bad example? ...
Peter is not correct. This is the OFFICIAL Connecticut jury instruction, from the judicial website:
Civil Jury Instructions Home
3.11-5 Slander Per Se
Revised to January 1, 2008
The plaintiff in this case is seeking to recover damages for slander. Slander is oral defamation of character. Slander is the speaking of defamatory words which injure the reputation of the person defamed or which deter people from associating with or dealing with the person defamed.
In most cases, a plaintiff must prove actual injury to (his/her) reputation in order to recover in an action for slander. Actual injury must be proven unless the slander occurred in one of the categories called slander per se. If a statement is slanderous per se, a person is entitled to recover for general damages to (his/her) reputation without having to prove that actual damage was caused by the statements. This is because the law conclusively presumes that these statements cause injury to a person’s reputation.
In this case, the plaintiff claims that <insert allegations>.
If you find that the plaintiff has proven, by a preponderance of the evidence, that the defendant made the statement to a third person, which identified the plaintiff, such that it would be reasonably understood that it was about the plaintiff, then this would be slander per se because <insert as appropriate:>
The statement falsely charges someone with having committed a crime that involves moral turpitude or for which an infamous penalty is attached.
The statement falsely charges someone with having a loathsome or contagious disease.
The statement falsely charges a woman with being unchaste.
The statement falsely charges someone with incompetence or dishonesty in office.
The statement falsely charges a professional person with general incompetence.
The statement falsely charges a person with conduct or characteristics that would adversely affect (him/her) in (his/her) trade or business.
The DOT Taxi regulations in Connecticut permit Flat Rate fares if two things are true - the ride starts or ends outside the Taxi’s licensed territory AND the trip is longer than 15 miles.
Ansonia is not inside Metro’s service area, so this criteria is met. I can’t find the “official” DOT mileage chart, but one on a web site calculates the trip from New Haven to Ansonia at about 8 miles. Hence the passenger was not eligible to demand a flat rate.
The Metro Taxi web site says the flat rate is $2.60 per mile. That makes the minimum legal flat rate fare $39 (15*$2.60)
The non-flat rate is $2.25 + $0.25 per 1/9th mile. Assuming the trip was 10 miles, the regular fare would be about $25.
If you’re sharp at math, you’ll realize that $2.60 per flat rate mile is MORE than the $2.25 per mile metered rate. The purpose of the flat rate fare is to charge you MORE if you’re sending a taxi way out of his normal territory and he’s going to have to drive back empty.
She wasn’t asking for a legal flat fare - she was trying to haggle about the fare after the taxi had already arrived and the kids were stuffed inside. I don’t believe the part about no other driver having ever declined a flat rate request.
The whole thing could have been avoided by telling the dispatcher (“service represenatative”) she wanted a flat fare quote. I would expect a dispatcher to inform her that only normal rates apply on trips under 15 miles and a metered rate would be less expensive than the flat rate - or maybe they have a policy to negotiate a price before the cab was dispatched and drivers could accept or ignore her offer. I’ve taken a cab twice in 12 years, so I’m not an expert on such things.
Alot of these comments are as ignorant as the cab driver…. Why ? because you don’t see race obviously and sitting down the cab driver to discuss differences will do nothing he does’nt have to. Racism when imposed is enough to make you rebel if your aware of it. The mother in this situation is the victim as well as her children to assume because she made it up is ridiculous but then again when living in racist America people always blame the victim until their in their shoes which if your a white American you couldn’t fathom the experience of racism towards an African American from their perspective. It’s easy for people to dismiss racism because they are ignorant to how its benefited them since they perpetrate it and it’s not forced upon them (Whites/European immigrants who chose to come here especially) at the end of the day the cab driver needs to be charged with assault for spitting on a child. ...
To “Peter is wrong”:
You’re certainly entitled to your opinion, but you pasted the court’s definition of “slander per se” without explaining how it would apply in this scenario.
I’ll assume you are relying on the portion that reads, “The statement falsely charges a person with conduct or characteristics that would adversely affect (him/her) in (his/her) trade or business,” since none of the others would apply.
If Mr. Jefferson had stated, “this guy always drives recklessly,” or “this guy cheats all of his customers” it might rise to the level of slanger per se because that could arguably adversely affect him in his trade or business—namely charging a fee for driving people.
But that’s not what Mr. Jefferson’ said. His words were merely rhetorical hyperbole. They were essentially just “outbursts,” and I do not believe that a jury would interpret them as meeting the definition of slander per se.
i find it hard to believe that someone, a mother, would make up such a story. the issue isn’t the amount of passengers in the car as previously stated by some comments. the issue is the terrible racists comments that were made (allegedly) right! if the cab driver had an issue with the amount of people in his car, and made a statement airing his frustration about it, we wouldn’t be discussing it now. his comments were hurtful, demeaning, unwarranted, and damaging!!! yeah i said it!!! we’ve come so far and have so far to go as a human race!!!!!!!!
You may believe the story is “too bizarre to make up,” but have you ever heard of Tawanna Brawley? That hoax is what propelled “Rev.” Al Sharpton to prominence and cost four white police officers their jobs - only to have Ms. Brawley admit she made the entire thing up so that her father wouldn’t beat her a** for visiting her boyfriend in jail and coming home late. I don’t absolve the cabbie IF he acted inappropriately, but just because “RACISM” is screamed that doesn’t make the story true.
Unfortunately, there were no witness to the event aside from children so this probably isn’t going to get resolved to anyone’s satisfaction.
Even if everything the woman in the article said is one hundred percent true, with no witnesses and no history of bad behavior on the part of the cab driver, it’s unlikely a court or employer is going to take away a man’s livelihood based on a single accusation, no matter how awful.
To Art Stone,
It sounds like the customer was trying to get a deal on a flat fee. A lot of times if you offer a cabbie a flat fee and pay cash, they’ll give you a discount. They keep the meter off and don’t log the ride so they keep the whole fare, the customer pays less, and everyone is happy.
So if a taxi driver
1) Doesn’t pull the flag
2) Accepts payment in cash
3) Doesn’t log the trip
who is being cheated? - The IRS? The taxi company? The car owner? The insurance company?
If it’s true that this is a widespread practice, it’s exposing an entirely different issue.
Is it possible that some drivers are working entirely “off the books”? Could that be happening without the knowledge of the cab company?
For those of you on the (ridiculous) tangent over “what kind of mother tries to fit that many kids in a cab”: Metro Taxi always, always asks how many passengers they’ll be picking up, when you call. If they didn’t send one of their SUVs (seating for 7), that’s their mistake.
There is NOTHING Ms. Stanley could have done that would have justified directing a racial slur at children (or grown ups, for that matter), and spitting on (assaulting) a child.
So now we have to bring Tawana Brawley into the mix. What does that have to do with this???!!! FYI, Tawana Brawley NEVER said she made the whole thing up because she “had been visiting her boyfriend in jail.” What a stupid thing to say. Did it ever occur to you that if that were indeed true that there would have been witnesses WITHIN the JAIL to such a visit? There were a huge number of discrepancies and inaccuracies on both sides.
Four policemen did not lose their jobs—one of the principals committed suicide and the case helped to propel one of the most racist prosecutors in the North East, Rudy Giuliani to the office of Mayor.
Do all of you racists keep a file of white urban myths to refer to anytime you hear the words “racially motivated?”
It has already been corroborated by one of the cab driver’s coworkers that this behavior of his was typical.
This company should be boycotted. If you are black and found in one of their cabs, you should be publicly identified and humiliated.
Remember the Montgomery Boycott.
I hope Mike Jefferson puts these people out of business.
I didn’t say keeping the meter off and taking cash was legal or ethical, it’s just something that happens everywhere. I don’t know how often it happens in New Haven specifically.
I wouldn’t get too worked up about it, though, it’s on par with waiters not declaring all their cash tips - technically illegal, but there are bigger problems in the world.
To Peter - AHA!!! By admitting that this is a question for the jury, you are agreeing that this is a question of fact for which a jury could find Mr. Jefferson liable. In other words, a jury could find that calling someone insane and dangerous and demanding that he be fired as a result could result in harm to a driver. So, as they say in your profession, I rest my case. As for the hyperbole part, any decent lawyer knows that once it is a question for the jury, anything can happen. You act as though this would not even go to a jury.
Tawana Brawley…hmmmm? Are you suggesting that Michael Jefferson or some other soon to be prominently involved person is going to run for office?
It’s amazing how many people choose a side. The fact of the matter is that it is impossible to prove this alleged incident occurred. I don’t care if you are white, black, racist, or whatever. If it did happen, it was wrong. If it didn’t, it was wrong. Don’t throw around your opinions as to what happened when you weren’t even there. Yes, there is racism in America. Yes, people are crazy. But, in the end there is no way to prove who is lying. And by the way, taking the mother’s word for what the second cab driver said about the first is hearsay. “Hearing the story, he said cabbies have been complaining about that driver making racist comments about other drivers.” If this is true, there should be documentation. And don’t forget, racism works both ways. I have personally seen whites fearing to rightfully reprimand blacks in the workplace out of fear of the playing of the race card. It would be nice if we could just get along, but unfortunately humans are greatly flawed as a majority. It seems to me that people just wait for these types of stories to air their pent up anger. Seek therapy.
This wouldn’t have happened if we had a robust system of alternative long D transportation for people who can’t afford to own a car…something like a subscription where cars would be available for infrequent users. And the company could have a zippy name like…like…aww I can’t think of anything. Can you Alderman Goldson?
Wait as minute- Going to her house in Ansonia with her child who goes to Conte West Hills School in New Haven??????? When did that become permissible
I sure can, it’s called ZipCar, WeCar, Hertz, etc. Perhaps you did not hear, but we passed the ZipCar agreement on Tuesday, with an amendment by me that the city put together a plan to expand into underserved communities, like the one in this story.
A little behind, are we Robn?
Unfortunately, Zipcar would be completely useless in this case because you have to bring the car back to its home base after using it. Ms. Stanley could use a Zipcar to drive her kids to Ansonia but then she’d have to drive it back to New Haven and by this time she would have spent about $20 on the Zipcar and she’d still have to find a way to get herself home. Also, it’s hard to reserve a Zipcar without internet access so those without a computer and internet hookup at home are out in the cold. Sure, there is an 800 number you can call but whenever I’ve called it, I’ve been put on hold for 10 minutes.
I’ve been behind a carsharing pilot program from day one. You’ve opposed it from day one and, given your quotes published only this morning, you’ve now only begrudgingly supported it. Who’s a little behind?
You’re sort of correct because Ms.Stanley was visiting from her home in Ansonia.
However, just for comparative purposes (and with the distinct possibility that Ms Stanley’s mom might be able to to come and pick them up), New Haven Zipcar charges $66/day. Metro taxi charges $2.25/mile and Ansonia is 14 miles away (thats $63 round trip for a one day trip, not including gas surcharges and not including per minute charges).
Come on Robn, let’s not distort the truth here.
From day one I supported car sharing. I think you know that I was not opposed to car sharing, I was only opposed to spending taxpayer dollars to support a private for profit business. I was able to reduce the taxpayers cost and liability through negotiations with the other alds and the administration, and supported (through my yes vote) a better deal for the city. I think that is a good thing.
You should read the article you linked to in your previous post, because if you had you would have read that what YOU supported from day one was clearly (to everyone else) a very bad deal, which has been since changed to an OK deal, but could have been a good deal (if we could have gotten them to pay for the two spots).
What YOU did was bring a howitzer to a pop-gun fight. The original proposal was to make a temporary deal with a company that has a solid, known track record with car sharing, incentivizing to reduce their hesitancy to come into the New Haven (public) market. You held the whole process up for the cost of two parking spaces. Whats that worth? a couple of thousand bucks a year? How many tens of thousands of dollars of aldermanic time did you waste haggling like a rug merchant for the purposes of political grandstanding?
I always try to bring a bigger weapon to any fight, you bring a knife, I bring a gun, you bring a gun, I bring a tank…I think you get it.
Carpet salesmen work in a long and honorable profession, no reason to disparage them here.
What I saved the city was many thousands of dollars, both with this contract and future ones. If they would have been successful with this one, they would have certainly come to the board with similar deals in the future. Now, they will negotiate a better deal before approaching the BOA.
But, even if I had only been able to save 100 bucks, I would have still done it, because it would have been $100 that the taxpayers would have. You seem to forget that those $100 add up.
... Next time you are ready to buy a carpet, be sure to give me a call, I’ll make sure to give YOU a REALLY GOOD deal (and I also have a bridge to sell you if you are in the market).
Not really. You didn’t really save anything…you cost the city money. The proposal for the pilot program was temporary, low cost and low risk and your long bout of haggling cost far more than you saved. There’s nothing wrong with saving money but YOU WASTED MONEY MAN. The many man hours spent at Aldermanic meetings COST SOMETHING because its an inefficient drain on manpower. Talk about a case of penny wise and pound foolish.
Unfortunately, Tawana Brawley is far from the only example of a 100% fabricated hate-crime accusation. So, it’s not difficult at all to believe that someone could make it up.
In 2010, everyone knows that crying “Racism!” is the quickest way to mobilize massive media and government attention, regardless of the actual truth of the matter.
An accusation of “Racist hate,” even if completely false, is a permanent stain on the reputation of the accused.
Try googling “Madonna Constantine,” “Kerri Dunn,” “Alicia Hardin,” “Leah Miller and Allison Jackson,” or Duke lacrosse rape case, for just a few 100% fake made-up hate-crime allegations.
Yes racism still exists,yes we have a long way to go but I think it is more toward mexicans,asians and people from the middle east.Black and white people every day make racist comments about them but nothing ever comes of it.I think most black people think its ok to be racist against people from other countries. Trust me,those people are more descriminated against then you will ever be.They just don’t have a Mike Jefferson to pull the race card for them….YET anyway..
If you can’t afford a car ya probaly can’t afford the kids. Five kids ....no car….really these poor kids…what a shame. How the heck do you afford 5 kids plus cab fare these days? Holy cow!
pleases if he not wrong in one manner then in another HE SPITTED IN A CHILD FACE tell her all these comments and see what that 6 years old thanks the words and his actions were wrong
the bottom line he do not like black poeple just deals with them for his paycheck
The issue in the matter is someone spit on a child. It doesn’t matter if it was two or twenty kids. It doesn’t matter how much money the mother has for cab fare. It does not matter where the children go to school. There should be immediate action for this person spitting on a child.
I just so happen to know this family and the mother is not one to make up some crazy story like this.
I have 3 children and no car. Not because of my income, but because I am from Harlem New York and never learned growing up. You should know the person before you judge.
Keep the issues what they are, there is a racist man spitting on young children. PERIOD