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Cohn Refuses to Apologize to D.C. Taxi Drivers for His Discriminatory Remarks


During the D.C. Taxicab Commission meeting on December 11, Teamsters Local 922 President Ferline Buie asked Commissioner Paul Cohn to apologize for his offensive and discriminatory remarks made during the November 13 commission meeting, but Cohn remained silent.

During the November 13 meeting, some D.C. taxi drivers were barred from speaking during the public comment period because of an illegal, discriminatory requirement that written testimony be submitted in advance because Cohn said commissioners have difficulty understanding some people with accents.

“The reason we are asking for written testimony is because a lot of our cab drivers have difficulty with our language,” Commisisoner Cohn said during the November 13 meeting. “It’s very difficult for us to understand some of the people that testify.”

During the December 11 meeting, Buie called on Cohn to apologize for his remarks, especially in light of the fact that the commission allowed another driver to speak who did not submit written comments.

Cohn remained silent after Buie called for him to apologize. In a further slap in the face, Cohn left the meeting early during the public comment period.

The Washington, D.C. Taxi Operators Association is outraged that Cohn failed to do the right thing by apologizing. The Association repeats Buie’s request that he apologize immediately for offending and disrespecting thousands of taxi drivers in D.C.

The Association filed a complaint with the D.C. Commission on Human Rights following the November 13 meeting, and the Human Rights Commission has scheduled a hearing date for January 22, 2014.