Rally planned to protest latest BART shooting

A snapshot from an April 8, 2010 BART protest to express outrage over the shooting of Oscar Grant
Photo by David Morse

Activists who swarmed transit stations in the wake of the fatal BART police shooting of Oscar Grant are planning to rally again next Monday, July 11 in response to a fatal July 3 BART police shooting in San Francisco's Civic Center Station.

The shooting victim has been identified by the San Francisco Coroner as Charles Hill, 45, a man who had no permanent address. BART police justified the officers' decision to fire by saying Hill was brandishing a knife and a broken bottle as a weapon, and reported that one of the officers received a minor cut on his arm. However, a witness told the Bay Citizen that he appeared to be a "drunk hippie" who was not running or lunging at police when they arrived.

Hill was shot three times last Sunday evening, about a minute after two officers arrived on the scene. According to recorded radio transmissions, the BART employee who called the police dispatcher to report that there was a problem said, "that guy with the tie dye and the open bottle of alcohol, he's still there. He's kind of moving around a lot."

The radio transmissions were aired by KGO-TV and can be found here. So far, BART has not released video captured by surveillance cameras.

The protest, organized by a group called No Justice, No Bart, is scheduled to take place from 4:30 to 7 p.m. on Monday, July 11 at Civic Center Station, during rush hour.

"We're expecting 100 people at minimum, and probably a lot more," said an organizer, who asked not to be named. "We anticipate that BART service will be disrupted, potentially significantly."

Here's a description that was included on a Facebook announcement about the BART protest: "We will participate in a collective act of civil disobedience to demand: 1) The BART Board of Directors must shut down the corrupt, inept, disgraceful, and murderous BART police department, permanently and totally. 2) Both officers must be fired, and we demand an independent, public investigation of this killing, and all applicable charges filed and prosecuted against the killers."

The officers have been placed on paid administrative leave, and parallel investigations of the shooting are being conducted by BART police and the San Francisco Police Department.