TTC reaches settlement with Black rider who sued agency for racial profiling

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TTC reaches settlement with Black rider who sued agency for racial profiling


The TTC has reached a settlement with a Black rider who sued the agency for racial profiling after he was violently accosted by three fare inspectors last year.

In a statement released through his lawyer Thursday morning, Reece Maxwell-Crawford said he had met with TTC CEO Rick Leary on Wednesday to discuss his case and recent efforts the TTC has taken to address racial discrimination.

“It is very important to me that Mr. Leary has apologized on behalf of the TTC and that the lawsuit I started has been settled,” Maxwell-Crawford said.

“I am very happy that the events of Feb. 18, 2018 will be put behind me.”

He commended the transit agency for launching a system-wide anti-racism plan and instituting training aimed at tackling racial bias among employees.

“I think the improvements that the TTC intends to make will make our city stronger,” he said.

Maxwell-Crawford had been seeking $750,000 in damages for the incident, which took place on the St. Clair streetcar route on Feb. 18, 2018 and was captured in widely viewed cellphone video.

Maxwell-Crawford’s statement didn’t disclose the terms of the deal, but in an email his lawyer Cory Wanless said he and his client “are happy with the settlement.”

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In the video, Maxwell-Crawford, who was 19 at the time, can be heard shouting “You’re hurting me. I’m in pain,” as the transit officers pin him to the ground. He said the altercation left him with a concussion, dislocated shoulder and back injuries.

The TTC’s initial investigation into the incident largely exonerated the officers involved. But a subsequent report from the city ombudsman into that investigation found it had serious flaws and the TTC failed to examine the possibility of racial bias.

The TTC agreed to implement the ombudsman’s recommendations to strengthen its investigation process, and to go further by adopting an anti-racism strategy.

Leary was expected to address the anti-racism initiative and the settlement at a press conference at 11:30 a.m. Thursday at city hall.

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With files from Jennifer Yang

Ben Spurr

Ben Spurr is a Toronto-based reporter covering transportation. Reach him by email at bspurr@thestar.ca or follow him on Twitter: @BenSpurr





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