A black man alleges that he was denied entry on a bus, which he takes daily, because of his race.
Kevin Brooks, a 35-year-old hairdresser and cameraman/editor was on his way to work from New Bedford, Mass., to the Vineyard and attempted to board a Vineyard Transit Authority bus, but was denied entry, the Vineyard Gazette reports.
Brooks was waiting at the Beach Road stop but the driver, who remains unidentified, didn’t stop for him.
The Vineyard Transit Authority said the bus was full but the driver failed to change the destination sign to “Bus at capacity.” When the VTA reviewed the audio/video footage, it showed the driver responding saying the bus was full, and then, when challenged, saying: “Well, it’s because you are black.”
Brooks took an Uber and followed the bus to Oak Bluffs and waited for the bus to clear so he could confront the driver.
“I said what was the reason you didn’t stop for me in Edgartown,” said Brooks. “He said, ‘Because you’re black.’”
Brooks told the Gazette that the encounter “was a bit of a shock.”
He said he’s been commuting to the Vineyard year-round for three years to work at Mac’s Barber Shop and makes house calls and works at weddings.
“I’ve never had an issue,” Brooks said. “I don’t even live here, I still feel like part of the Vineyard. I go to the same bus stop every day.”
According to the VTA, the driver has been fired effective immediately.