The BART cover-up crumbles


Zusha Elinson at the Bay Citizen continues to do great work on the BART Police shooting, and today he's got a scoop: The audio of the incident gave him the names of the officers involved. OF course, BART can't confirm or deny anything, as is typical -- but the fact that we now know that the shooter was James A. Crowell, who had been on the force for just 18 months, gives some further insight into what happened. I've argued for years that the BART Police lack the training and the experience to know when to use lethal force, and this "newbie," as other officers called him perhaps reacted too quickly to a threat that could have been defused.

At any rate, the whole thing demonstrates a fundamental point of politics: Cover ups don't work. Information gets out eventually, and the people who are trying to suppress it just look bad.


Blowing the privacy of someone who at this point is not charged with any crime, and using his biography to make wild inferences about his guilt is a new low.

Why is it you love all public sector workers but hate cops?

Posted by Walter on Jul. 26, 2011 @ 12:50 pm

The public has a right to know who did this.

Posted by Greg on Jul. 26, 2011 @ 12:56 pm

With extraordinary authority comes extraordinary responsibility.

Posted by marcos on Jul. 26, 2011 @ 12:57 pm

occasion required nothing more than a vacuous cliche?

Posted by Walter on Jul. 26, 2011 @ 1:25 pm

You see a lot of comments from the editor of The Guardian commenting on scoops and articles in other papers.

When was the last time you saw other papers' editors commenting on scoops by The Guardian?

What happened?

Posted by Arthur Evans on Jul. 26, 2011 @ 1:24 pm

They put the good stuff in the print edition, but you wouldn't know that since you can't comment on the internet there.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 26, 2011 @ 5:07 pm

This tragic and unnecessary killing by this guy working for BART for only 18 months is a good example of why BART police should not have guns.

This Crowell guy was trigger happy or so scared that the last occupation he should have is a cop. Another bad thing about it is it makes all cops look bad when probably most of the them are calling the guy an idiot (among themselves) for this unnecessary killing.

Posted by Bill on Jul. 26, 2011 @ 1:33 pm

If someone throws a knife at a law enforcement officer -- thus showing not respect for the law -- and are responded with a defensive shot -- so be it. I don't believe this office delivered 'the' fatal shot and if he did -- did not intend to. The criminal must bear full responsibility for the consequences simply for his actions.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 26, 2011 @ 9:11 pm