Cab Driver Who Killed Cooper Stock Remains Eligible for TLC License

The cab driver who killed Cooper Stock is still eligible to be licensed by the Taxi and Limousine Commission.

Cooper Stock
Cooper Stock

Koffi Komlani struck 9-year-old Cooper and his father, Richard Stock, in an Upper West Side crosswalk in January 2014. This week, Komlani pled guilty to careless driving and was sentenced to a nominal fine and a six-month suspension of his drivers license. Though Cooper and his dad were walking with the right of way, Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance filed no criminal charges against Komlani.

The TLC opted not to renew Komlani’s probationary hack license when it expired last July — which, under current agency rules, means he could be re-licensed.

“We did opt not to renew, but legally, for all intents and purposes, it was still a simple expiration, and the law provides for the opportunity to reapply for a new license after an expiration,” TLC spokesperson Allan Fromberg told Streetsblog. “But if he were to reapply, he would be subject to a stringent fitness review, which would take his history fully into account.”

Komlani would not be the only cab driver to kill or seriously injure someone and remain in good standing with the TLC. The cab drivers who fatally struck Kelly Gordon and Timothy Keith, and the cabbie who severed the leg of Sian Green, to cite just three instances, reportedly retained their hack licenses.

The law adopted in Cooper’s name, which took effect last September, gives TLC discretion to revoke a hack license only if a cab driver is convicted of a traffic violation or a crime following a crash that causes death or critical injury. The TLC suspended the license of Uber driver Aliou Diallo after he killed Wesley Mensing and injured Erin Sauchelli in Manhattan last January, but reinstated Diallo after the sole charge against him, a ticket for driving without a license, was dismissed by the DMV.

Cooper’s Law was intended to get dangerous cab drivers off the streets. But with drivers who have killed people still eligible for TLC licenses, agency rules clearly need additional reforms.

  • keenplanner

    It’s just grotesque that car drivers can kill children and adults and not face criminal charges. What must these families feel knowing that the person who murdered their child received a slap on the hand and a nominal fine, if anything.

  • Zulu

    This just adds insult to injury. How can this case get even more disgusting? After reading this I’m compelled to cry under the shower as I try to forget that impunity reigns when innocent lives are taken and our “justice” system is incapable and unwilling of upholding the law. Cy Vance you are a miserable excuse for a DA.

  • LN

    An unlicensed livery cab driver, killed 17 year old Jerrison Garcia – the friends he was riding with and the passenger finally managed to get him to stop after he dragged Jerrison for 50 feet.

    And for all we know he could be right back out there driving a cab. No charges to the livery cab company either.

    Meet the 10th Annual Memorial Ride at his ghost bike at 2pm this Sunday April 19th.

  • chekpeds

    This is outrageous… maybe we could get UBER to adopt a more stringent policy of firing any driver that injures or kill a road user and shame the TLC into matching it…

  • But he didn’t commit any computer crimes!

  • Eugene Weixel

    I think NYPD ought to be able and required to check drivers smartphone for having been in use in all serous crash cases.

  • Eugene Weixel

    The TLC can’t be shamed. Chairman Yassky now draws a paycheck from Lyft and his right hand man Chhabra draws a Ubercheck.

  • neroden

    Well, the TLC law would work if the police & DAs would actually prosecute vehicular manslaughter cases. So the problem goes straight back to the corrupt, criminal gang known as the NYPD. And the corrupt DAs, too.

    In the UK they have a solution for corrupt DAs and police — it’s called “private prosecutions”. Rich people or charities can fund and run the prosecution themselves if the DA refuses to.