MIAMI – The mayor of Miami-Dade County, Florida has apologized to an 82-year-old woman who was forcibly removed from a Metrorail train while singing religious hymns.
The Miami Herald reports Emma Anderson was singing and making noise on the train Feb. 20 when she ignored a warning from a security guard to quiet down.
“I was beating my beads in the bottle and I was singing a song,” Anderson told ABC News.
“So he came up and said, ‘Ma’am, you’re making too much noise.’”
A cellphone video taken by a fellow passenger shows the guard struggling with Anderson. She fell off the train and onto the platform as the guard yanked on her rolling suitcase.
“You have to get off here ma’am. Let’s go,” the guard is heard saying.
Mayor Carlos Gimenez issued an apology to Anderson this week.
“The situation should have been handled with more care and common sense. Our patrons must be treated with dignity and respect,” he said.
Miami-Dade Transit also issued a statement saying county rules prohibit anyone from “singing, dancing or playing a musical instrument” unless they have a commercial permit.
Transit spokeswoman Karla Damian said Anderson’s singing was causing a disturbance and making it difficult for other passengers to hear important train announcements.
The woman’s son, Donald Anderson, told local media his mother hurt her shoulder and hip in the altercation.
“My mom is one that praises the Lord,” Donald Anderson told WFOR-TV in Miami. “That’s what she do around our house. She gives God the glory. She goes out and speaks the word of God to people and she gets on the train and sing praises.”