The Bay Area Rapid Transit Police Department has launched an internal affairs investigation after an officer tackled and subsequently arrested a suspect, the Bay Guardian has learned. The nature of the complaint leading into the investigation is not yet known, but statements from the suspect's attorney indicate it may be racially motivated. Read more »
GUARDIAN EDITORIAL Twenty years from now, when people look back on the Occupy movement, one of the indelible images will be the video of the University of California police officer casually dousing a group of peaceful, seated students in Davis with pepper spray. It's a video that's been seen millions of times around the world. It reflects a serious problem not just with one officer but with the way officials at all levels have responded to the protests — and with the way institutional police forces operate in this state.
In the video, a group of students involved in the OccupyUC movement are seated on the ground with arms linked. Lt. John Pike walks up and down the row, indiscriminately shooting the orange spray — which causes severe pain and breathing problems — over the students, who make no move to resist. It's horrifying and stunning, the sort of thing that you wouldn't believe unless you saw it yourself. Read more »
Legislation currently before California Governor Jerry Brown would allow Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) to ban passengers who have been convicted of a crime committed while on BART property. Written into a renewal of legislation for existing transit rules in the Sacramento area, the bill being considered by Governor Brown, AB 716, would make it an infraction to return to BART stations or use the regional transit system for up to one year. Read more »
Another nice scoop by Zusha Elinson at the Bay Citizen: He's got emails showing how BART tried to set up a fake counter-protest and press conference to skew media coverage toward how protests were inconveniencing riders.
A Sept. 8 protest called to test the limits of the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) agency's policies on freedom of speech inside BART stations ended in a cluster of protesters and journalists being coralled by nightstick-wielding BART officers, detained, and in some cases, arrested. The station was shut down at around 6 p.m. when police surrounded a group of demonstrators who had marched around the unpaid area of the transit station, as well as a group of media who were following them with cameras and voice recorders.Read more »
Protesters plan to descend upon downtown San Francisco on Sept. 8 and 9, as two separate groups of organizers are calling for mobilizations against the Bay Area Rapid Transit system (BART) and Pacific Gas & Electric Co. (PG&E). Read more »
Protesters returned to downtown San Francisco train stations on August 29, vowing to keep up their schedule of Monday evening rush hour protests until the BART police are disarmed and retrained, or disbanded. This time, howevef, stations remained open and trains ran on schedule in a protest where both BART police and demonstrators took pains to reach out to commuters angered by recent train service disruptions.
A crowd of 200 people gathered outside of Civic Center station, the location of the July 3 fatal shooting of a 45 year old Charles Hill by BART police.Read more »
It's pretty clear that people are still mad at BART for cutting off cell phone service -- and that the agency is doing a miserable job of responding. The latest protest featured BART cops arresting people for nothing more than speaking out in the station, which leaves the train system in the horrible position of attacking First Amendment rights. And the protests are likely to continue, making life difficult for commuters and discouraging people from taking BART.Read more »