Jan. 14 altercation between MCTS bus driver and passenger
MILWAUKEE -- A Milwaukee County Transit System (MCTS) bus driver was fired from her job. Meanwhile, the woman who she claims was the aggressor in an altercation, walked away scot-free. MCTS released on Friday, Feb. 22 surveillance video of the dispute.
"I was very disappointed in myself," said Shemurath Green, former MCTS bus driver.
The incident happened near 27th and Wisconsin Ave. on Monday, Jan. 14.
"It makes me emotional," Green said.
Video shows an exchange with Green and a passenger. The woman comes stomping back and things get heated. The passenger can be seen throwing a can at Green, and Green tossed it right back.
Green says the woman hit her in the face before getting off the bus and kicked the door several times before going to the side of the bus to taunt the driver.
A sheriff's deputy nearby addressed the issue but the passenger was ultimately not arrested.
To me it should have been a wash and both of them had a bad day and let it go," said James Macon, president of ATU Local 998.
ATU Local 998 President James Macon is standing by Green, and is upset at MCTS' decision to terminate her.
"Things could have been done differently but a lot of drivers are not used to the stress," Macon said.
Green acknowledges her role in the confrontation.
"I shouldn't have let her words or my frustration get the best of me," Green said.
While Green maintains the version of the video we are seeing is edited, an MCTS spokesperson says that is not the case.
"Escalating it to that degree and getting physical, it was a simple interaction that unfortunately she didn't have to take it to that level," said an MCTS spokesperson.
"I want to make it clear that is not me. I am not a bad person. I had a bad day," said Green.
While Green says she's learned from this experience, MCTS says it will continue to focus on safety and customer service in their training to help ensure issues like this don't happen again.
MCTS suspended Green on Jan. 14 -- and fired her on Jan. 18. Officials say Green then filed a grievance through her union in an attempt to get her job back. The grievance was denied on Feb. 21. MCTS says Green was employed by the transit system for 14 months.
MCTS also issued the following statement on this matter:
"An incident that took place January 14 was a case of a driver reacting inappropriately to a passenger — unnecessarily escalating what could have been a normal customer service interaction.
"MCTS is known locally and internationally for having dedicated and compassionate bus drivers. In this rare instance, one employee acted in a way that goes against MCTS policies, procedures, and expectations. Her behavior was inappropriate and unacceptable, which is why she is no longer with the company."