A young black woman ordered by a bus driver to give up her seat and move to the back — the sentence sounds like a story from the mid 1950s starring Claudette Colvin or Rosa Parks.
But this is what attorney Michael Adams says happened to his client, Toni Young, back in April, 2014, according to a lawsuit filed in Alameda County (California) Superior Court.
Young claims she left San Francisco aboard a Greyhound Bus to attend a family celebration in Sacramento.
According to a San Francisco Chronicle report, Young had to transfer to another Greyhound bus in Oakland, where her trouble began.
The bus driver allegedly ordered Young, who had taken a seat in the front, to move to the back because the driver was expecting an elderly passenger to board in Sacramento. Young says she told the bus driver she was getting off in Sacramento, so the matter was “irrelevant,” according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
As Young was getting up to “comply,” she “quietly” said to the bus driver she “didn’t have to have an attitude about this,” according to her attorney Michael Adams.
That’s when the bus driver, Cynthia Lara, fired back that she didn’t have an attitude. And then Lara reportedly called for security to escort Young off the bus and called her a racial slur.
Young said the incident was the “most dehumanizing incident” of her life.
The civil rights complaint seeks punitive damages for what Young describes as “psychological trauma, including post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and anxiety.”