A married couple in New York has brought a lawsuit against the Taxi and Limousine Commission for $3 million, this after a TLC agent wrongly accused a Black man for dropping off his biracial wife. The TLC agent seized the husband’s car for eight days and gave them both summonses to appear in court despite the couple explaining their marital status to the agent.
Dan Keys Jr. 66. and Symone Palermo, 53, say that the TLC racially profiled the couple in their accusation. Keys, who works as a car salesman, says that the agent mistook his wife for a White passenger of an unregistered car service. The Bayside, Queens couple say that on the morning of May 8, 2013, Keys was in the couple’s Town Car on his way to drop his wife off at her job at a furniture discount store in Flushing. The wife sat in the backseat as the front passenger seat was wet after a night of storms.
The TLC agent pulled Keys over after dropping his wife off and made the claims that the husband was operating an illegal cab service, according to the lawsuit filed in Queens Supreme Court last week.
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“We think there was no basis for the TLC to have pulled over my clients in the first instance,” the couple’s lawyer, David Haber, told DNAinfo New York.
“Once they pulled over my clients, [the investigators] had many opportunities to let them go — to realize they pulled over the wrong people. Instead they doubled down on their mistake. I believe that they flat-out lied in their summonses.”
A city administrative judge eventually ruled in the couple’s favor and dismissed the summonses. However, the TLC kept the Town Car until Palermo won her case on May 16, 2013.
The TLC has not offered any comment on the lawsuit.
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