OPINION: Uber under fire for shooting

The next time you go to order an Uber, maybe think twice. An Uber driver in Kalamazoo Michigan has been arrested after a seemingly random series of shootings on Saturday, February 20th. The prime subject, Jason Brian Dalton, allegedly shot eight people Saturday night, killing six.

In between the horrific shootings, Dalton supposedly picked up passengers. After hearing of the atrocities on the news, one of Dalton’s passengers who wished to be anonymous gave a statement to CBS earlier this week, saying “And I halfheartedly joked at him and said… ‘You’re not the shooter are you?’ And he said ‘No… and I said ‘Are you sure?’ And he said ‘No, I’m just really tired,'”.

According to Michigan officials, Dalton had a rating of 4.73/5 and had completed over 100 rides. This has called the Uber background check process into question. Uber claims that in order to check their drivers, the drivers names are run through seven years of county and federal courthouse records, a multi-state criminal database, national sex offender registry, Social Security trace and motor vehicle records. Anyone with a history of violent crimes, sexual offenses, gun-related violations or resisting arrest.

This in depth background check still may be for naught as crimes with active Uber drivers are becoming quite commonplace. An Uber driver whom underwent a background check allegedly took a drunk female passenger to his home and raped her in Houston, Texas last April. The State of California filed charges that Uber’s background checks failed to find 25 drivers with criminal records including convictions for assault, sex offenses, child abuse, and murder.

Uber itself is no stranger to the courtroom. A class action lawsuit against the taxi-takeover mogul regarding its wording of “safe” rides in its app cost the company $28.5 million. If you’ve taken an Uber from 2013-2016, you may be entitled to your admittedly small settlement. If the judge approves the settlement, an email will be sent to any registered riders with an option to be paid via credit card or rider account.

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