The mayor of Miami-Dade county in Florida issued a public apology after an 82-year-old woman was forced to leave the city's metrorail for singing praises to God.
Emma Anderson, 82, hurt her shoulder and hip after a security guard forcefully made the woman exit the train an estimated seven miles from her destination. The guard forced Anderson to exit after asking her to stop singing.
The elderly woman's son, Donald Anderson, defended his mother's right to express her faith in God through song publicly.
"My mom is one that praises the Lord," Anderson told CBS 4 in Miami. "That's what she does around our house. She gives God the glory. She goes out and speaks the word of God to people and she gets on the train and sing praises."
The incident took place last month, but after the family spoke about the matter publicly, the Miami-Dade mayor decided to issue an apology to the woman and her family.
"We are sorry that this incident occurred and apologize to Mrs. Anderson," Mayor Carlos Gimenez said in a statement to The Miami Herald.
Although Miami-Dade Transit issued an earlier statement defending their rules which don't allow singing, dancing or instruments on the train so that train announcements could be heard, the mayor said the behavior by the security staff was not acceptable.
"The situation should have been handled with more care and common sense," the mayor said in a statement issued Thursday. "We have made it clear to all County employees and contractors that our patrons must be treated with dignity and respect."
While the mayor said he will review the Miami-Dade Transit policies, Anderson's son said it is a positive move on the mayor's part.
"I think it's great. I think that's a step in the right direction," Anderson told CBS.