A bus driver in Baltimore has been charged with assault after getting angry with a white family on her public transit vehicle. Former Maryland Transport Administration employee Karen Murphy had ordered them to move to the back of the bus and they refused.
The irony is that the driver was black, and the situation mirrors what happened decades ago when it was exact opposite circumstances. There was a time when African Americans were forced to sit in the back of the bus due to segregation issues, but times have changed.
When the family of three refused to move as ordered, Murphy called some college students to board the bus, meet the couple at their stop, and “take care of” them.
Victims Kristina Gibson and Christopher Fisher had taken the bus to pick up their 9-year-old son Logan from school on June 6 when the incident occurred. They had been beaten for three minutes as the bus driver watched a group of possibly 20 black students attack them. When Logan had tried to stop the attack, a student pepper sprayed him.
Gibson told NBC News about the mass attack.
“She actually let these children get off of this bus and beat me and my family for at least three minutes, then let them get back on, get weapons, get back off and back on again, and then took off with every one of them that did it.”
According to official video of the scene, Karen Murphy had gotten hostile with the family of three, ordering them to the rear of the vehicle and threatening them if they didn’t comply. She never said anything about them being white, so the possible accusation of racism is mere speculation.
“If you would have gotten your (expletive) off you wouldn’t be having these problems. You better watch the way you’re talking to me…. Come up here and I’ll show you what I’ll do. You better get your a** way back there in the back.”
Kristina Gibson told the press what happened when she and her family refused, including the bus driver’s phone call for “reinforcements.”
“She pulled the bus over, got out of her seat belt, stood up screaming in both of our faces, ‘Don’t tell me how to do my job. If you have a problem, come across this line and I’ll knock you the F out.’
“The [nearby college students] immediately came up to her and began speaking like they knew each other. We weren’t too far away from her, so we could hear, and she said to them, ‘I don’t care where they get off. You handle that (expletive) and I’ll take care of you. I’ll wait for you.’
“As soon as the doors opened, they hit my boyfriend on the back of the head with something.”
The bus driver’s attack left the family of three with medical issues, and they reported her actions to the MTA, who allegedly did nothing. When detectives finally came to check on the situation two months later, the investigation led to Murphy’s arrest. The bus video, along with IDs found in a student’s dropped book bag, gave them the evidence they needed to convict her.
Bus driver shouted “That’s what you get!”, escorted “youths” away after they assaulted a family. No mention of race. http://t.co/VAW8vR9P0N
— Bankek (@ReflyTurbo) October 18, 2014
Kristina Gibson said she is happy that the bus driver was arrested, so her son knows “that she’s not going to get away with this.”
Karen Murphy will head to trial November 21 to face charges for the mass attack.
[Image via Car Free Baltimore]