ttc apology

TTC says they're sorry and will try to treat customers with dignity and respect

The TTC has finally apologized to the black man who was aggressively pinned down and detained by fare inspectors last year. He was only 19 at the time.

The incident sparked uproar back in February of 2018 after a graphic video of it went viral. 

The man involved, Reece Maxwell-Crawford, launched a lawsuit seeking damages of more than $3 million following the incident. His lawyers claimed he was the victim of unlawful detention, assault, battery, negligence, discrimination, harassment and racial profiling.

It's taken more than a year, but on Wednesday Maxwell-Crawford sat down with the CEO of the TTC, Rick Leary, to discuss a settlement reached in the lawsuit. 

Leary then released a public statement about the meeting. 

"Reece and I agreed that it's time to turn the page and start looking toward the future — a future in which the TTC is an organization that is committed to addressing bias and discrimination, both conscious and unconscious, and a future in which the TTC is a transit agency all of our customers can have faith that they are being treated fairly and with respect," he said. 

"When it comes to combatting anti-black racism and all forms of discrimination in both our operations and corporate culture, we can, should and must do better."

Toronto Ombudsman Susan Opler released a report two months ago outlining recommendations on how to address and prevent situations like this one. 

It found that the TTC had failed to analyze evidence that showed racism — whether it be intentional or not — was a factor in the inspectors' actions.

Leary said the report has since been updated, and the TTC has accepted her recommendations. 

"Steps being taken include modernizing and mandating training around bias and racial profiling, changing how we investigate discrimination-based complaints against employees, and working with Toronto's Combatting Anti-Black Racism Unit to develop a new framework for race-based data collection," he said. 

He added that he wants the TTC to be a leader in this area. 

"I am heartened to hear about the TTC's commitment to implementing the Toronto ombudsman's report and engaging in a system-wide anti-racism strategy aimed directly at preventing racial profiling," Maxwell-Crawford wrote in a statement. 

He also said he's glad he can finally put the incident in the past. 

"We must address these concerns to restore public trust and confidence across all aspects of the TTC's operations," Leary said. 

"It is my firm commitment to all Torontonians to do better and to improve relations between the TTC and this city's black, and racialized communities."

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