Auditor To Investigate SF BART Police Shooting

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — The new independent auditor for Bay Area Rapid Transit Police said Monday that he will conduct a thorough investigation into a recent confrontation at a San Francisco station in which BART police shot and killed a knife-wielding man.

Mark T. Smith said his investigation will parallel those also being conducted by the BART and San Francisco police departments and will look at whether officers used the proper tactics and were justified in using force in fatally shooting 45-year-old Charles Hill at the Civic Center station around 9:45 p.m. on July 3.

BART officials said Hill was armed with a knife and a broken bottle that he was wielding as a weapon, was aggressive and combative with officers who attempted to contact him, and did not comply with orders.

The officer-involved shooting occurred after Smith, who previously served in police review positions in Los Angeles and Chicago, had been at BART for only a week.

>>BART Shooting Protest Planned At Civic Center Station

BART Director Lynette Sweet, who chairs BART’s police review committee, said, “Talk about trial by fire.”

The independent police auditor’s job is a new position that was created in the wake of criticism about the way the transit agency investigated the fatal shooting of passenger Oscar Grant III at the hands of BART police Officer Johannes Mehserle at the Fruitvale station in Oakland on Jan. 1, 2009.

Sweet said BART created the police auditor’s job and formed an 11-member citizen review board to assure the public that investigations into police actions are conducted with “transparency, integrity and honesty.”

Sweet said each entity reports directly to the BART Board of Directors, not to each other.

She said the auditor reports his findings to the citizen’s review board and then to the Board of Directors.

The citizen review board can either agree or disagree with the auditor’s report and make its own decision whether to accept its recommendations and report its decision to the Board of Directors.

Referring to the fatal shooting of Hill, Sweet said, “I’m disappointed we’re here today.”

But Sweet said “the people are not in bad hands” because she is confident that Smith will conduct a fair investigation that is completely separate from the probes being performed by BART and San Francisco police.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

  • BART, Muni Service Halted At Civic Center Station Over Shooting Protest « CBS San Francisco

    […] Auditor To Investigate SF BART Police Shooting « CBS San Francisco How […]

  • City Vehicles Could Drive Job Creation

    […] Area Rapid Transit Police said Monday that he will conduct a thorough investigation. Read more on CBS San FranciscoA constitutional auditor July 9 was not an ordinary moment as many feared turmoil and confrontation […]

  • BART Frustrated By Pace Of Investigation Into Fatal Police Shooting « CBS San Francisco

    […] Related tags BART, Charles Hill, Officer-involved shooting, Oscar Grant var addthis_product = 'wpp-257'; var addthis_config = {"data_track_clickback":true};if (typeof(addthis_share) == "undefined"){ var addthis_share = { templates: { twitter: "{{title}} {{url}}" } }; }OAKLAND (KCBS) – With many questions still unanswered, some Bay Area Rapid Transit directors are worried about the pace of an investigation into a fatal officer-involved shooting at Civic Center Station. […]

  • BART Website Defaced By Hacking Group ‘Anonymous’ « CBS San Francisco

    […] protest was planned in response to the fatal shooting of 45-year-old Charles Hill by BART police officers last […]

blog comments powered by Disqus
Guide To The Holidays
Shine A Light On The Holiday Season With ‘Giving Tuesday’

Listen Live