According to the TTC, the incident took place on February 18 on a westbound 512 St Clair streetcar when the three inspectors were returning to their home office at TTC’s Hillcrest Yard on Bathurst Street at the end of a shift.
The TTC’s findings reveal that a 19-year-old boarded the streetcar at St Clair Station and stood in front of the doors, facing directly across from one of the inspectors.
The inspector alleged that the teen stared at him, “which prompted him to ask twice if the customer needed assistance and further indicated he was not checking for proof of payment.”
According to a witness and the inspector, the teen remained silent.
From the CCTV video footage shared by the TTC, you can see the teen exit the streetcar at St. Clair Avenue and Bathurst Street at the 4:31-minute mark with a group of passengers and the three fare inspectors.
The boy then returns to the streetcar and stands by the doors. As the doors were closing, the customer pushes the button to re-open the doors and walks out directly to the fare inspectors, into what the TTC is calling the inspectors “personal space.”
The inspector then violently pushes the customer back into the streetcar and onto the ground.
The young man can be seen standing up and he appears to attempt to hit the inspector, who was able to deflect it.
The customer then returns momentarily to the streetcar and heads toward inspectors again, only to be arrested and detained until Toronto Police arrived.
However, from video footage captured outside of the streetcar by witness Bethany McBride, the boy wasn’t only detained, he was pinned down by the fare inspectors and three additional police officers who arrived on scene.
“He was screaming that he hadn’t done anything and that they were hurting him,” McBride told Daily Hive in February. “They held him down about twenty mins. More officers arrived they pulled him off the ground and took him towards the cruisers. He looked banged up, terrified and humiliated.”
Following the incident, the TTC launched an internal investigation conducted by the TTC’s Investigative Services and the Diversity and Human Rights departments.
According to the TTC, the issue was determining if the inspectors violated the TTC Transit Enforcement Unit Code of Conduct, and specifically, “whether they engaged in discreditable conduct, unlawful or unnecessary exercise of authority, and engaged in racial profiling, discrimination and/or harassment.”
During their investigation, TTC investigators reviewed video footage from the incident, from both the streetcar and posted on social media from witnesses.
The fare inspectors were also interviewed, in addition to various witnesses and the customer.
The report, which will be presented to the TTC board at its upcoming July 10 meeting, concludes that there’s “insufficient evidence to support a finding of discreditable conduct against two of the three Transit Fare Inspectors.”
The investigation also found that there wasn’t enough evidence to suggest the fare inspectors engaged in “unlawful or unnecessary exercise of authority,” or that they engaged in “conduct amounting to discrimination and/or harassment.”
But, the investigation did find that in “smiling” at the customer after the inspectors exited the streetcar at Bathurst Street, the fare inspector did engage in “unprofessional and discreditable conduct.”
That fare inspector has since resigned from the TTC for unrelated reasons.
The young customer has since sued the TTC and Toronto police for racial profiling. There currently is no update on his case.
With files from Yasmin Aboelsaud