Those were the cries of a Black teenaged boy, his face bloodied, as he was pinned down on the street by Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) fare inspectors on Sunday afternoon.
The incident, captured on video, occurred after the boy got off a streetcar at St. Clair Avenue West and Bathurst Street and it’s under investigation by the TTC and the City of Toronto ombudsman.
According to Bethany McBride, a passenger on the streetcar who posted a video of the incident on Facebook, the boy was getting off the vehicle when he was grabbed by a fare inspector. The boy pushed the inspector in response, McBride said. Then two fare inspectors pinned the teenager to the ground.
Witnesses said the boy was not asked for proof of payment before being grabbed and that he was pinned down for about 20 minutes.
Police were called and when they arrived, they found a large crowd had gathered around the inspectors and the boy.
In the video, the boy says, “I didn’t do anything, though,” and “You’re hurting me. You’re hurting me…”
Police handcuffed the boy and took him to their squad car.
The boy was reported to have identified himself to the police.
No criminal charges were laid against him and he was released,
The TTC has suspended a fare inspector involved in the incident .
In a letter to City of Toronto ombudsman Susan Opler, TTC acting CEO Richard Leary said the inspector was suspended “with pay pending the outcome of this investigation.”
The investigation will probe allegations that the inspector “failed to treat customers equally without discrimination,” assaulted a customer, acted uncivilly, discredited the reputation of the TTC, and used unauthorized force on a customer.
TTC spokesman Stuart Green said unlike special constables, fare inspectors should only be using force as a “defensive mechanism.”
Green said the TTC will review surveillance video of the incident and question the fare inspectors — and will take “appropriate action.”