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82-year-old woman dragged off train for allegedly singing too loudly

By Arturo Garcia
Friday, March 8, 2013 18:06 EDT
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82-year-old Emma Anderson dragged off train for singing too loudly
 
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An 82-year-old Florida woman appears to be preparing for a legal battle against transit officials in Miami after video surfaced online of her being pulled to the ground and out of a local train.

WPLG-TV reported on Friday that an attorney representing Emma Anderson has filed a Freedom of Information Act request against Miami-Dade Transit asking for their policies regarding dealing with elderly passengers.

The request could be the first legal salvo in the wake of a Feb. 20 incident in which Anderson was ejected from a local Metrorail train for allegedly singing a religious song too loudly.

“I was beating my little beads with the bottle and I was singing a song,” Anderson told the station on March 6. “[The security guard] came up to me and said, ‘Ma’am, you’re making too much noise.’”

The video, filmed on a cell phone by another passenger, shows the guard grabbing Anderson’s bag by the handle while she held on to the other end. Shortly thereafter, Anderson is seen falling to the ground. Her attorney, Al Carbonell, said the fall caused injuries to her hip and shoulder.

“Right now, physically, she can’t walk,” Carbonell said. “She can’t move around.”

According to ABC News, the initial response from local transit officials was to blame Anderson for the incident.

“Ms. Anderson’s singing was causing a disturbance to other passengers and impeding important train announcements from being heard,” officials said in a statement. “We regret that Ms. Anderson had to eventually be escorted out, but regardless of age, all passengers need to abide by the rules associated with using transit.”

However, WPLG reported on Thursday that Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez released a statement of his own apologizing to Anderson.

“The situation should have been handled with more care and common sense,” Gimenez’s statement said. “We have made it clear to all county employees and contractors that our patrons must be treated with dignity and respect. We are in the process of reviewing our policies and procedures to ensure special consideration is taken when dealing with the elderly and people with special needs.”

County commissioner Audrey Edmonson told WPLG that the unidentified security guard seen in the video has been barred from working at any county facility.

Watch ABC News’ report on Anderson’s run-in with the transit security guard, posted online on Friday, below.

Arturo Garcia
Arturo Garcia
Arturo R. García is the managing editor at Racialicious.com. He is based in San Diego, California and has written for both print and broadcast media, including contributions to GlobalComment.com, The Root and Comment Is Free. Follow him on Twitter at @ABoyNamedArt
 
 
 
 
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