We've all heard about the recent BART police shooting at the Fruitvale Station and the victim's family's decision to sue BART for $25 million. While we wait for the facts on what exactly happened and why a gun and not a Taser was used, the bottom line remains that an unarmed man on the ground was killed. Yet, I personally cannot understand how the victim's attorney came up with the figure of $25 million. Some of the comments on SFGate got pretty heated and personal. I'll keep my mouth shut for now until further facts are revealed. What's your take on this mess?
Updated: I try to keep this blog clearly related to BART and commuting and have purposely kept out any political and personal perspectives. This event crosses these boundaries but my role is not to make any judgment but to encourage conversation. However, somehow, people have publicly made this a racially driven occurrence, which I strongly disagree with. How is this incident racial profiling? How is this police brutality? Can't it be due to the officer's lack of hands-on experience with force? Or perhaps his lack of training? Why must we jump to the conclusion that this shooting was driven by race? Yes, it is frustrating that we have not received any formal statements from him concerning what happened, but how can we immediately paint this as an "execution" because of color? Now ironically folks are describing the victim as a saint, a martyr. This man had a record! Of course he did not deserve to die but he is no saint. He was at the wrong place at the wrong time. Yes, there is plenty of police brutality and racial profiling in this country but that shouldn't be the immediate explanation for everything. I will now focus back on BART and commuting but I needed to get this out of my chest!
On an unrelated note, please see the BART Musings interview feature #3 below.