D.C. began “cracking down” on fare evasion last May, after the city said it was losing $20 million a year because of it. The penalty is a $50 fine and a court appearance. But there were problems even before that: in 2016, a D.C. transit officer kicked a teenage girl’s leg out from under her and shoved her to the ground while arresting her for having a big of chips in a metro station.


At a September board meeting of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, a woman associated with a local transportation justice group described one incident she saw soon after more aggressive policing of fare evasion was implemented. Per WAMU:

“The way WMATA treats its riders, particularly people of color, is unacceptable,” testified Brianna Musselman, who said she witnessed officers pinning “a young black man to the ground” at Gallery Place station in June.

“The man’s arms were pinned under his own body with the added weight of two transit police officers on top of him, and yet the officers continued to demand that he somehow get his arms behind his back,” said Musselman, a Green Line rider. “He couldn’t do it, and so one of the officers pepper-sprayed the man, not once but several times in the face.”


Things don’t appear to have changed much. In February, Metro Transit Police violently arrested a woman for alleged fare evasion at a bus stop, fracturing her knee, putting 12 stitches in her mouth, and breaking four teeth in the process. “I cry. I cry all of the time,” Diamond Rust told WUSA. “Just waking up crying. It hurts.”

We’ve emailed the D.C. Metropolitan Transit Police Department to confirm whether or not the woman was taken to the hospital and what her injuries were, and will update with any response we receive. In the meantime, maybe they should follow the advice of one hero NYPD cop and just let this shit go next time.