Sunday, January 04, 2009

BART Police Shooting at Fruitvale - Your Take? (Updated)

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.

16 comments:

californiabeat said...

The home video that was obtained by KTVU Saturday night tells the whole story. It really does question the motive and reasoning behind the use of a firearm in the incident. We've written a summary of what went on this weekend, and a description with image stills on our website. See for yourself, and give us your take on the shooting. Find it here: http://californiabeat.wordpress.com/2009/01/04/criticism-mounts-as-home-videos-show-bart-cop-shooting-killing-unarmed-rider/

Anonymous said...

I'm waiting to hear more information. From what I've seen in the videos it seems to favor the family, but we don't know what happened before the video was shot.

I also find the 25 million a little excessive although I don't know what sum you could put on the fact that a little girl lost her father.

I know at least one very angry person has been posting on BARTrage.com about it.

Anonymous said...

I think the whole incident is disgusting. That's all needs to be said. We need to hold tight perhaps for now and let all the evidence come out.

I don't think videos should be submitted to BART police, as there may have been attempts to cover up evidence, and there could be a conflict of interests. I would give it to the news, as their interests is the news and making money from news, or privately give it to the attorney or the family and the family, or the District Attorneys office.

Posted Anonymously out of genuine fear of repercussions by law enforcement society.

Anonymous said...

I think the BART Police Officer involved made a serious mistake. I spent 10+ years working as a Paramedic and have seen Police in some very stressful situations. Mistakes happen. Too bad everyone seems to want to take the "Off with his head" attitude toward the BART Police Officer. Let's hope cooler heads prevail. To be honest, it appears the suspect who was killed was a trouble maker anyway. If he led such a wonderful law-abiding life as everyone says he did, then what was he doing on a BART Train at 230a fighting or otherwise raising a stink? He still did not deserve to die, but he was likely a street thug nonetheless. The less street thugs we have in this world the better.

Anonymous said...

I bet the BART Police Officer will end up hanging himself, or otherwise committing suicide (unless the victim's gang member friends get to him first)like BART Police Officer Crabtree? did a decade ago when something like this happened back then. I am sure the victim's family would love for this to happen.

Anonymous said...

Wow, finally someone who is not afraid to say what many of us are thinking. No, the victim did not deserve to die but accidents in stressful situations happen and the victim is likely a trouble maker who created the stressful situation in the first place.

Anonymous said...

of course you cant put on figure on a tragedy but they should came up quickly with the $25 million figure. not that its not sad losing a family member but this family (or the lawyer at least) sure looks rather greedy to me.

Anonymous said...

My bet is the victims gang member friends or otherwise hoodlums will try and harm him via his new baby or his wife. They have already made death threats to the poor officer. That is the gang way so to speak.

Anonymous said...

so now people are protesting. i sure hope these *protesters* don't use this tragic accident as an excuse to loot the city. we may have the Oakland Riots, Part I.

Anonymous said...

to me, this looks like a tragic accident at the hands of an inexperienced cop. seems like the cop panicked and shot the perpetrator by mistake. end of story. could BART have handled this better? yes.

Anonymous said...

the rioting has started! maybe i should head over to oakland and use this as an excuse to go rob a few stores and steal some car stereos.. that's what the other 500 protestors are doing.

Anonymous said...

Maybe if BART Police spent less time in Starbucks and chatting up the Station Agents, and more time doing Police Work, i.e. riding the actual BART trains, then this situation could have been avoided.

Anonymous said...

@ anonymous 8:27pm

A direct quote from SFGate.com

"Merchants reported almost no thefts"

Anonymous said...

I think it is completely disgusting how some of the public is asking with their leaflets, protests and demonstrations. All of this is completely uncalled for. I guess some individuals in society have absolutely no respect for the men and women of law enforcement. I guess BART would be so much better off if there was no police force and law was enforced local agencies in each county. That would work...

Anonymous said...

Whether the man was a troublemaker or not, he was shot in the back while he was lying face-down on the ground. Surely it isn't that hard to figure out why that would be a problem.

Maybe it was an accident. But it needs to be fully investigated, and we need to take steps to make sure it doesn't happen again.

Anonymous said...

This is why Gun control is bad. Because imaging if only the polices have all the guns. We will all be under their mercy. Dont forget polices can be worse than gang banggers since they can shoot you legally!