Amtrak officials apologized Saturday to an internationally known civil rights attorney after asking her to give up her seat on a Baltimore-bound train, according to the Baltimore Sun.
Sherrilyn Ifill, well-known Baltimore resident, civil rights attorney, scholar and activist, boarded train 80 Friday in Washington, D.C., to return to Baltimore when she was approached by the conductor and asked to give up her seat on a train that did not have assigned seating.
"I'm being asked to leave my seat on train 80, which I just boarded in D.C. There are no assigned seats on this train. The conductor has asked me to leave my seat because she has 'other people coming who she wants to give this seat.' Can you please explain?" Ifill tweeted Friday afternoon.
Ifill later added in another tweet, "is it 1950?" She went to the lead conductor to share her displeasure in the situation.
"I laid it out," Ifill tweeted to her more than 163,000 followers. "[The original conductor] now said 'she wanted to keep empty seats out front.'" To which, Ifill responded, "of, so there were no 'special passengers.'"
The lead conductor apologized to Ifill before the original conductor who asked her to give up her seat told her, "Follow me; I've found a seat for you."
Ifill noted, Amtrak followed her account, but did not contact her publicly or through Twitter.
Amtrak spokesman John Abrams said in an email to the Sun the company attempted to reach out to Ifill "numerous times" Friday to apologize for the incident ,but finally made contact with her Saturday morning to apologize.
"We should have responded publicly sooner, and we apologized for the incident and our slow response," Abrams told the Sun. "Amtrak is looking into the matter more closely so that we can prevent situations like this going forward."
Ifill's followers followed in her disappointment.
- "Rosa Parks in 2020. Unbelievable," @ShaimaStreet wrote. Read more at WBAL