The front page of The Post-Standard this morning has a story and video (on Syracuse.com) about an incident on a Centro bus in Syracuse that will have people talking and debating a long time.
A man who was asked to sit down on the bus, refused to comply, and was subsequently tasered by police and dragged off the bus. Then he was dragged by his ankle a short distance on the sidewalk. In the process he broke his hip and is now suing Onondaga County and Centro for what happened.
But it’s not a simple story. The man did not want to sit down because he has 2 herniated discs in his back that are painful if he sits on a moving bus. He did not want to get off the bus with the police because this had happened before and when he got off the bus with the police, the bus pulled away and he was not refunded his fare.
But what also needs to be considered here is that this man has some other disabling conditions, some of which are as a result of being hit by a train when he was 12 and having part of his brain removed. The lawyer representing him now was also the lawyer that represented him in his lawsuit against Amtrak and Conrail that resulted in a significant settlement.
I checked with the general manager of Cortland Transit and their policy on sitting vs. standing is that a person can stand as long as there are handrails on the bus. Otherwise New York State law states that a person must sit.
There are many comments on the story on Syracuse.com. Read the story, watch the video, read the comments, and let me know what you think.