Teen who was tackled by fare inspectors sues TTC for millions
A teenager who was filmed struggling against the weight of five TTC fare inspectors and Toronto police officers earlier this year has launched a lawsuit seeking damages of more than $3 million in connection with the incident.
The 19-year-old male, who is black, alleges in a statement of claim that he had been riding the streetcar on February 18 when he was grabbed, thrown to the ground face first, and pinned for an extended period of time by multiple TTC employees.
Another streetcar passenger, Bethany McBride, caught video footage of the incident in question and posted it to Facebook that same day.
"On my streetcar, a black teenaged boy shoved a fare collector who put his hands on him," she wrote when sharing the video. "And this happens. They held him down screaming for twenty minutes."
The teen was released without charge after 30-40 minutes of being detained by three TTC fare inspectors and, later, two Toronto police officers.
At least one TTC fare inspector was suspended as a result of the altercation a few days later.
Lawyers claim that the young man suffered "serious physical and psychological injuries" at the hands of transit agency workers, and that he is the victim of unlawful detention, assault, battery, negligence, discrimination, harassment and racial profiling.
The lawsuit, which was filed against The Toronto Transit Commission, the Toronto Police Services Board, three individual TTC fare inspectors and two police officers on March 29, states that transit staffers did not identify themselves to the teen nor explain at any point why he was being detained.
Neither TTC workers nor police responded to his cries for help, according to the suit, or provide medical attention despite the presence of an obvious head wound.
When asked for comment, the TTC told CityNews this week that it would not be addressing the lawsuit until an internal review is complete.
Police said similarly that "it would be inappropriate to comment on this incident now that a statement of claim has been filed."
The teen and his mother, who is said to be dependent on him for care, are seeking more than $3 million in collective damages, as well as "special damages in a sum to be disclosed before trial.
Bethany EJ McBride
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