Protest Planned at Civic Center BART Today Over Shooting
A group is planning a protest this afternoon at the Civic Center BART station in San Francisco, where BART police shot and killed a knife-wielding man last week.
The group No Justice, No BART said it is demanding that the BART Police Department be disbanded, and that both of the two officers involved in the July 3 shooting of 45-year-old Charles Hill be fired and criminally charged if it is found that the shooting was not justified.
Today’s protest is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. on the platform of the Civic Center station.
BART spokesman Linton Johnson said such a protest would be illegal.
“Disruptive protests like this planned one on small platforms with fast moving trains and large crowds are against the law because they put … riders, BART workers, journalists and protesters at serious risk of injury or death,” he said.
Hill was wielding a knife and a broken alcohol bottle before BART police shot him on the train platform, Johnson said.
BART police said Hill was aggressive and combative and did not comply with orders. One of the officers suffered minor cuts during the confrontation, BART officials said.
A Facebook page has been set up for this afternoon’s rally, and as of this morning, more than 370 people had indicated they would attend.
The group No Justice, No BART was formed in response to the New Year’s Day 2009 shooting of Oscar Grant III. Grant, a 22-year-old Hayward resident who was unarmed, was shot and killed by then-BART police Officer Johannes Mehserle at the Fruitvale station in Oakland.
Meanwhile, BART’s new Independent Police Auditor, Mark T. Smith, begins working today. KGO radio has a report and interview with Smith that covers the Hill shooting. BART officials decided to create a police auditor and a citizen review board after the shooting death of unarmed passenger Oscar Grant III, 22, of Hayward, at the hands of then-BART police Officer Johannes Mehserle.