Calling it “reminiscent of Rosa Parks,” a lawsuit has been filed in California accusing a bus driver of using a racial slur and booting a black woman off a bus for refusing to leave her front-row seat and move to the back.
According to the SF Gate, Toni Young — who is black — states she was on her way to a family celebration in Sacramento in April of 2014 when she grabbed a front seat on a Greyhound bus driven by Cynthia Lara.
Young states that after she took her seat, Lara told her she would have to move because she was expecting an elderly woman to board when they reached Sacramento.
Despite explaining that she was getting off in Sacramento and that the seat would be available then, Lara insisted that Young move.
According to Young’s attorney, Michael Adams, she complied but “quietly” told Lara, “You don’t have to have an attitude about this.”
The lawsuit states Lara “loudly asserted that she did not have any attitude,” and called for a security guard to remove Young from the bus.
It was then, Young asserts that Lara “loudly muttered” the racial slur.
“It was shocking to me that we have an incident like this reminiscent of the Rosa Parks incident many years ago,” said attorney Adams.
According to the attorney, Young was escorted off the bus and had to wait several hours for the next one. Young said she asked the guard for paperwork to file a complaint, but he said they were out of the forms. When she asked to speak with the station manager, she was told her the manager was not available.
Young stated that by the time she reached Sacramento, the family celebration was over.
“It was the most dehumanizing incident of my life,” explained Young. “I will never ride a Greyhound bus again.”
According to the suit, Young says she now suffers from psychological trauma, including PTSD, depression and anxiety. The lawsuit seeks punitive damages from Greyhound.