Portland City Commissioner Who Wants To Slash Police Budget Calls 911 Over Lyft Ride

(Photo by ANKUR DHOLAKIA/AFP via Getty Images)

Brianna Lyman News and Commentary Writer
Font Size:

Portland City Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty, who has previously called for budget cuts for police, utilized the emergency service Nov. 1 after her Lyft driver cancelled her ride.

Lyft driver Richmond Frost picked Hardesty up at a casino, according to KOIN. Frost kept the windows open in accordance with COVID protocols that Lyft implemented.

Frost told police that Hardesty  “became irate when he refused to roll the windows up,” according to Fox News. He then pulled into a gas station and canceled the ride, asking Hardesty to leave the vehicle. However, Hardesty allegedly refused to get out of the car because “it was cold and she was a woman and alone,” per the same report.

She then called 911 and told police she would not get out in the dark, according to audio obtained by The Oregonian.

“I am not going to allow him to leave me on the side of the road. I paid for a ride and he says he canceled it, so I’m just going to sit here until he sends me another ride,” Hardesty said, adding that she called the cops first because Frost allegedly threatened to call the cops on her for not exiting his vehicle.

“Technically it’s his property,” the dispatcher said. “And you have a civil agreement and there’s no crime involved.”

The dispatcher also told Hardesty that it is her obligation, not Frost’s, to hail another ride.

Frost then called 911, telling dispatch Hardesty refused to get out of the car, per the audio.

“I’ve got a customer that I canceled the ride,” Frost said. “I’m a rideshare driver and I canceled the ride, and I’ve taken her off the freeway to this filling station so that she can order another ride.”

“I canceled the ride so she’s no longer involved or engaged with me. She’s refusing to get out of my car,” Frost said.

Hardesty later took another Lyft home and the dispute ended, per Oregon Live.

Hardesty told the Portland Tribune that calling 911 was scary, but that she had to call before Frost did.

“I knew that having him call the police would put me in danger,” she said. “And so that’s why I proactively called 911.”

“I don’t call 911 lightly, but I certainly am not going to do anything that would put my personal safety at risk,” she said, per the report.

Despite using the 911 emergency services – which dispatched officers to the scene –Hardesty has spent recent months calling for a budget cut that would “reallocated $18 million from the Portland Police Bureau to reinvest in community, COVID-19 relief, and police alternatives.” (RELATED: Shooting Breaks Out, Multiple Arrests On Day 109 Of Portland Demonstrations)

The Portland City Council did not pass the budget amendment and Hardesty said leaders need to “move past the fear and stretch ourselves to take the action that is demanded,” according to a statement from Nov. 5.

“We came into this budget with the same goal of investing in our communities and reducing police by providing mutual aid because if Portlanders can’t depend on Portland to keep them safe and supported, who can they count on?” she asked.