Southern California

Security Guard, Conductor Removed After Accusations of Racist Comments

"It's not freedom of speech -- it's hate speech,” a rider said

A security guard and conductor have been removed from Metrolink after the guard allegedly made a racially insensitive comment about Latinos as people boarded a train in Riverside County.

Allied Universal, the company the security guard works for, and Metrolink bot said the incident was under investigation.

Felisha Carrasco shot video just moments after she said she was kicked off a Metrolink train by the conductor for using foul language.

Carrasco said it all began when the security guard allegedly made a racist remark about the people on the train.

"And he said this train must be going to Tijuana,” she said in a Facebook video shot after the incident.

She and her family said they were even more shocked when the conductor allegedly defended the insensitive comment.

"He was more or less agreeing with it. Laughed about what he said,” Manuel Carrasco said.

The train was headed to San Clemente where Carrasco and her family planned on enjoying a beach day.

"He justified it by saying he wasn't talking to us, he was talking to him. And then he said it was freedom of speech,” Felisha said.

"I felt he was talking that way because he felt most of the people on the train couldn't speak English,” Pamela Carrasco said.

Metrolink’s CEO told NBC4 one of their main goals is to ensure that all riders are treated with dignity and respect.

“We have a very diverse ridership. Southern California is very diverse and we have to treat all of our customers with respect and care, and the security guard’s comment did not reflect that level of concern,” Metrolink CEO Art Leahy said.

Felisha appreciates how seriously Metrolink is investigating the incident.

She's also hoping it'll send a strong message that racial insensitivity is not acceptable.

"It's not freedom of speech -- it's hate speech,” she said.

Metrolink has also taken the conductor out of service so he can be retrained in customer courtesy.

Allied Universal Security released the following statement:

“Reports of inappropriate remarks by our employee are of great concern to us and not reflective of the standards and expectations we have set for our security professionals. We do not condone discrimination of any sort, and have taken immediate action to suspend the employee involved, pending a full investigation, in cooperation with our partners Metrolink and RCTC. Allied Universal embraces diversity as an organization made up of people representing the many and diverse communities we take pride in serving.”

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