When Michael Ferre of Aventura, Florida, hailed Uber for a ride to the Fort Lauderdale airport on December 18, 2016, little did he know that this could have been his last ride ever.
Shortly after 5 a.m., he was picked up by Uber driver Namique Anderson for the 15 mile ride to the airport. Minutes later things turned deadly when a rented Dodge Caravan cut off Anderson’s Toyota. The driver of the Caravan, Kevin Johnson, exited the vehicle and drew two firearms and pointed them at Anderson, making demands that if not complied with would result in his being killed.
Concerned for his safety as well as for his passenger, Anderson, a concealed-weapons license holder, drew his own handgun and fired four times, striking Johnson multiple times, fatally wounding him. Another person in the Caravan drove away from the scene but was apprehended later.
Ferre, shaken up, was grateful for the actions of Anderson and considers him a hero that may have just saved his life. But for Anderson, all may not be quite as approving.
Even though the police and the local prosecutors have all said this was a clear case of self-defense and that Anderson would not face any charges, he may well lose his job as an Uber driver. Uber, it seems, has a policy that forbids its drivers from carrying firearms and that violations could result in termination of his access to drive for Uber.
When asked about the prospect of losing his job, Anderson said, “Honestly, it doesn’t matter if I lose the job. I have to protect my life. That’s all I did.”
Uber, the ride-hailing service, declined to comment, claiming the matter was confidential. –by Michael Wisdom, Senior Contributing Editor, Texas & U.S. Law Shield Blog
[updated on Jan. 30]
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