An opera singer from the USA has sued the BVG because ticket inspectors are said to have injured him and racially discriminated against him. This was reported by the British newspaper “The Guardian” on Sunday. According to this, the black Jeremy Osborne relied on the anti-discrimination law, which has been in effect in Berlin since 2020, in his lawsuit. According to the Guardian, Osborne was said to have been racially insulted during a check on a U2 train in October 2020. The situation escalated after Osborne asked the inspectors to see the ID cards. One of the inspectors is said to have pushed Osborne onto a metal bench on the platform.
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A BVG spokesman was unable to comment on the incident on Sunday when asked. The spokesman did not say whether there would be a statement on Monday. In the past, the BVG had always left similar inquiries unanswered, on the grounds that it was about ongoing proceedings.
According to the “Guardian”, it is the first time that the BVG has been sued on the basis of the anti-discrimination law. The BVG answered the singer’s lawyers that they were not responsible for the actions of a private security company.
According to the “Guardian”, the BVG announced that the passenger had provoked the inspectors by showing his annual pass “very slowly”. He described the inspectors of Turkish origin as “foreigners”. The 35-year-old Osborne denied this, the newspaper reports. The report from the company working on behalf of the BVG, which Osborne’s lawyer only received in April, only partially corresponds to that of the police who later became involved.
In recent years there have been repeated reports of violent inspectors at BVG and S-Bahn. These became known several times through reports by the victims on social media. In February 2022, the American Juju Kim accused BVG of breaking her finger, also during a ticket inspection. In March, 32-year-old Ssaman Mardi accused S-Bahn inspectors of insulting and hitting him. In 2018, a report in the Tagesspiegel revealed that the public prosecutor’s office had brought charges against ten employees of a private company working for the S-Bahn in seven cases. The allegations: acts of violence, fraud and insults.