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Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority. YouTube ‘Uppercut’ Mary Shaffer. Timeline. October 11: Video First posted on YouTube First media calls that evening, talked with CEO Viewed video, operator was suspended October 12: My busiest day at RTA. September 18: Actual incident date

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Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority

YouTube ‘Uppercut’

Mary Shaffer

  • October 11: Video First posted on YouTube
    • First media calls that evening, talked with CEO
    • Viewed video, operator was suspended
  • October 12: My busiest day at RTA.
  • September 18: Actual incident date
    • Police report, 8 pages, witness statements
    • Never any mention of a punch by anyone
posting of videos
Posting of videos
  • Six videos, the first is the closest, second farther back (both added websites)
    • Operator Artis Hughes vs. customer Shi’dea Lane (see video one and two)
  • Created transcript of incident from the first video, in case of arbitration and lawsuits
  • Still see this video daily in Cleveland, hearing about the ‘infamous uppercut’
public media responses
Public/Media Responses

How we heard from people

  • emails, phone calls, FB posts and tweets
  • What were they angry about?
  • What did they do about it?
media relations
Media Relations

What we did

  • Crafted a message: media statement, phone operators, facebook, twitter, emails, general calls; kept track of comments/calls
  • Created a media/public information request spreadsheet
  • Pulled operator Artis Hughes file and info
  • Shared the redacted police report quickly
fb and twitter comments
FB and Twitter Comments
  • Drivers should be armed with tasers!!!! She got what she deserved...old school
  • Something needs to be done about this level of disrespect shown by passengers. Everybody should be held to a high standard, customers included.
  • She started it and he finished it! Bout time someone shut these nasty little mouths up. She should be banned from RTA
more comments
More comments
  • I hope he presses charges for her hurting his hand. she totally got what she deserved. Act like a man, get knocked out like a man.
  • I will never agree that any man should hit a woman
  • You can ride the bus out of the hood, but you can't ride the hood out of the bus.
follow up news reports
Follow Up News Reports
  • Continuously using the same video
  • Searching: “Are operators safe on RTA? Is RTA doing enough to protect them? Is this common on RTA? What laws protect drivers/customers”
  • Fox 8 found a new ‘Shi’dea Lane’, who had retained a lawyer (see this video)
  • Customers continue to ask why Hughes would be fired (via email/phone/sm)
  • Hughes fired on November 6; silence
  • Political events
    • City of Cleveland proposed stricter penalties for unruly customers
    • State lawmakers proposals
  • More uniformed and undercover officers riding the system daily
aftermath cont
Aftermath (cont)
  • Legal changes – union vs. mgmt handling drivers for court
  • Discussions about safety, balancing safety messages for all
  • Lane and Hughes: Days in Court in March
  • No lawsuit against RTA at this time
focus on security
Focus on Security
  • Safety & Security Committee - Board Committee; Labor/Mgmt Comittee
  • Testing two enclosure used elsewhere
    • Asking for operator feedback
    • Positive/negative
  • Feb 19 RTA Board approved $2.5 million in camera systems (upgrades and new cameras and recording devices)
questions comments

Thank you!

Mary Shaffer