Quoted: The New York Times on the BART shooting of Charles Hill


But in the wake of Mr. Hill’s death, the BART police department is once again facing disapproval, similar to what it endured after Johannes Mehserle shot Oscar Grant III in the back at the Fruitvale station in Oakland in 2009. That case touched off riots and looting last year after Mr. Mehserle was convicted of involuntary manslaughter. Mr. Mehserle was released from jail last month after serving 11 months of a two-year sentence.

BART has not released the names of the two officers who confronted Mr. Hill. But one of the officers was not carrying a Taser, officials said. Neither officer (one is a six-year veteran, the other has been on the force for 18 months) had received crisis-intervention training.

Asked if the officers were adequately prepared for the confrontation, Chief Rainey said, “Absolutely.” But critics said Mr. Hill’s death was a direct result of the agency’s slowness in making changes after the 2009 shooting.

“There’s been a two-year struggle to reform BART,” said Anne Weills, an Oakland lawyer who represents victims of police brutality. “They’ve made no effort to open themselves up to the public, to hire and screen people or to train people to adequately deal with these situations.”

BART officers have shot and killed six people since the agency was founded in 1972; three of the shootings occurred during the past three years. The police force for Atlanta’s transit system, which employs 321 officers, has had two in the last three years; the New York Police Department’s transit bureau, with 2,400 officers, has not had a fatal officer-involved shooting in at least 10 years.

- From “In San Francisco, Latest BART Shooting Prompts New Discussion of Reforms,” by Zusha Elinson and Shoshana Walter

  • Minion

    San Francisco isn’t Oakland.

  • tinfoil hattie

    Taser’s aren’t the freaking answer, either.

    San Francisco doesn’t give a shit about people.  Especially not homeless, black, poor people. 

  • http://DeadAmericanDream.blogspot.com AngryBroomstick

    another fatal shooting in San Fran on Saturday and a 19 years old unarmed black man was shot and killed. http://sfbayview.com/2011/why-should-you-die-for-a-transfer/ there’s a press conference today at noon, and then a rally tomorrow in SF

  • http://transitionsandtransgressions.wordpress.com Xeginy

    Damn it, San Francisco, get your head out of your ass. What is it going to take to get them to stop shooting people?