A Memphis Area Transit Authority (MATA) security guard has been indicted on criminal charges following the death of a passenger who was pushed from a bus.
Adicus Mitchell, a guard for Protech, has been charged with aggravated assault resulting in death for pushing James "Semaj" Gray, 68, off of a bus on May 6th. Gray, a homeless man who suffered from mental illness, had been arguing with Mitchell over bus fare. Witnesses have said Gray landed face down, and blood began streaming from his head. Gray was transported to the Med with a severe head injury.
Gray was hospitalized in a coma and suffered seizures and strokes because of his injury. He was moved to a nursing home in July, but he never recovered from his injury. He died as a result of the injury on August 3rd. Gray preferred to be called "Semaj" rather than his given name "James." "Semaj" is "James" spelled backward.
Mitchell's offense carries a punishment of 3 to 15 years in prison. The Memphis Bus Riders Union is calling on MATA to step up sensitivity training for security guards. Since the incident, MATA has dropped its contract with Protech and is now using Ambassador Worldwide Protection Agency for security.