Another BART Police shooting


It's still too soon to determine whether the latest BART Police shooting was legit. There were witnesses. There's station security video. Maybe the victim really was attacking the officers with a knife and a broken bottle. Maybe he was drunk. Maybe something else was going on.

But given BART's horrible record on police shootings (even before the Mehserle case), this one ought to be investigated and debated in as open a manner as possible.

And already, the cone of silence has descended. BART public affairs says the station video won't be released. The San Francisco Police Department, which is also investigating, won't release any documents or information, the Public Affairs Office tells me.

I'm already dubious. Technically, it might be legal for a cop to shoot a man who has a knife -- but is shooting a drunk guy really necessary? How much of a threat was he, really? Were there other ways to subdue him?

The BART Board ought to be asking these questions, too -- in public. Because right now, I suspect I'm not the only one who doesn't trust anything that BART administration or the BART Police say.

This is going to be a major test of how the new BART police oversight policy works. And since Step One is rebuilding the public's trust, the typical secrecy has to end.  

Also from this author


    Anyone but Ed Lee. Peskin for Supervisor. Yes on F and I. Complete endorsements for the Nov. 3 election

  • David Chiu's flextime

  • The Mission 'douchebags'