SF Protest Over BART Police Shooting Disrupts Service

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — Bay Area Rapid Transit service has returned to normal Monday night, hours after it was disrupted by protests at several San Francisco stations.

Shortly before the start of Monday evening’s commute, close to 100 demonstrators gathered at Civic Center station.

BART and San Francisco Municipal Railway service was temporarily suspended at that shared station after the protesters attempted to prevent an East Bay-bound BART train from departing there.

The demonstrators then moved between the Powell and 16th Street stations, and the agencies instituted full and partial closures, inconveniencing hundreds of transit riders.

The group No Justice, No BART, which organized the protest, said it is demanding that the BART Police Department be disbanded after BART police officers shot and killed a knife-wielding man at the station last week.

The group is also demanding 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.

The dwindling group of demonstrators took to Market Street just before 7 p.m. and marched from Civic Center to Powell Street, where San Francisco police officers blocked about a dozen protesters from traveling up Powell Street.

About as many police officers had formed a line to block the protesters’ path.

Monday’s protest was scheduled for 4:30 p.m. on the platform of the Civic Center station. Several dozen people had gathered at the station by 4:45 p.m., and BART safety officers in green vests had a notable presence on the train platform.

>>Auditor To Investigate SF BART Police Shooting

BART police in riot gear monitored the situation and had non-lethal weapons ready.

By 5:15 p.m. the crowd had thickened and began chanting “No justice, no peace, disband the BART police” and “Cops, pigs, murderers.”

Once one East Bay-bound train had inched into the station, some protesters boarded the train and began banging on the train’s windows. After about 10 minutes, safety officers and police were able to close the train’s doors and the train departed the station.

Shortly afterward, around 5:20 p.m., the station’s LED message boards displayed messages informing passengers that no trains would be stopping at Civic Center station.

By 5:30 p.m., Muni announced that its service had also been suspended at the station.

By 6 p.m., some of the group had moved to Powell Street station where they were chanting and screaming on the BART platform. At some point before then, the platform had temporarily been closed because of overcrowding related to the influx of passengers displaced from Civic Center station.

It appeared that all of the protesters boarded a Daly City-bound train at 6:17 p.m. Although some of them attempted to block the doors and prevent the train from leaving the station, the train departed a few minutes later.

All BART service returned to normal by 8 p.m.

Earlier on Monday BART spokesman Linton Johnson said such a protest would be illegal.

“Disruptive protests like this planned 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.

After the disruptions, Johnson criticized the demonstrators’ actions.

“These fringe groups have apparently shown no regard for the work of their fellow citizens and, of course, the customers on the train, the elderly—all those folks who need Civic Center station open and rely on the station,” he said.

Johnson said that the station was closed “to maintain safety at an inconvenience to the elderly, the disabled” and all other customers because of the demonstrators’ actions.

Johnson said that BART police had not made any arrests as of 6 p.m.

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 the rally, and as of Monday morning, more than 370 people had indicated they would attend.

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.

>> Photo Gallery: The Shooting of Oscar Grant

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

  • Jaime Osorio

    The BART police officer should be punished if the killing is not justified. However, we still need the BART Police Department for the protection
    of the majority of the riders from the criminals and possible terrorists.

    • Dave M

      The Sf bay area is the worst place to be Law Enforcement – Liberal politics and a mostly ungrateful community that want to play the victim role for criminals and thugs – let these people be a victim of a crime before they finally wake up and realize that alot of these “family members and friends “are nothing but worthless people with a chip on their shoulder looking for an easy way out. Support your local Law Enforcement !

    • observer

      They call this balanced reporting? A witness who was present when this man was killed stated explicitly that he was NOT lunging at the BART police or moving toward them in a threatening manner. You mean to tell me cops with firewarms can’t hit a person in the legs to prevent an attack? Shame on you CBS for telling only the cops’ biased testimony, whicht contradicts an eyewitness report by someone who has no reason to lie.

      • PAX

        And then later, the police officer cut himself with jagged glass, effectively framing the dead man who was innocently carrying a broken bottle and a knife around! Undoubtedly to remove them from the presence of a ruffian!!
        They only seemed to be waved around at other passengers because of that rush of air when the trains come in, moved his arms!

      • CMMV

        they never shoot at the legs. too small of a target. and the missed bullit goes into someone else. what do you think this is, a movie? the torsoe makes a better target and they seldom get up.
        he got shot, that’s what should happen to anyone waving a knife in public.

    • Kim Ackerman

      The Bart police were justified in there actions. I got Confronted by two man that were throwing glass bottles on the Civic Center Platform on Friday nite going home from work.. These man wanted to fight with me, I said and did nothing to these people. Just another way to start a fight for no reason. I work in the federal Building,These people put there life on the line for you and I. And you don’t thank them. They protect you and I from CRIMINALS you forget the love they show for all that is near and dear to us.

      • observer

        Oh I see, PAX — you were also an eyewitness. No? Just somebody who believes the cops by reflex? Because after all, they have nothing to hide…

  • Michael Aschoff

    The police should have non-lethal weapons … they should be part of the solution not the problem … and yes, by volunteering to do this stupid job, you put your life on the line … sorry, it’s not a big head position … it’s a you might be dead position …

    • Lawless

      Why don’t you go to Mexico, say Nogales, and let me know how you like no police officers. I am thankful for those are willing to put themselves in harms way to keep me safe. Therefore they deserve lethal weapons, after all, bad guys won’t use non lethal weapons, so only expecting cops to use non lethal weapons would put them in more danger, and nobody would be willing to do the job, and we would up lawless and violent like northern Mexico. Let’s think before we speak.

    • Matthew

      Michael Aschoff : If your father was wearing one of those badges — I doubt you’d have the same cavalier attitude, you moron.. I guess the P.D. can skip coming to your house if there’s a disturbance, right? After all — you don’t need weapons…

  • Rosie

    I rather they shoot the guy then to have him attack a passenger. Would you rather that or have this happen to you?


  • James Greybush

    Louie, it is “you’re worthless morons” not your.

    you worthless moron.


    • Eve Fromm


    • PAX

      yah, but you’re a jerk, so i guess you two are even, right?

  • Michael Campbell

    If I were the police officer, and I felt at any time my life or another person’s life was in danger by this knife wielding man, I would shoot him as well. If you don’t want to get shot… DON’T ATTACK A COP WITH A KNIFE!

    I hope every single one of the protesters gets arrested for disturbing the peace.

    • lawless

      Couldn’t agree more, and if any of the protestors are dumb enough to bring weapons, and brandish them before law enforcement I hope they get shot, we need to get these idiots off the street!

    • JHM

      BART so far has been unwilling to provide anything much beyond generalizations. For example they haven’t shown the knife they said they recovered at the scene so we don’t know whether if it belonged to the person shot it could have plausibly been a threat. We don’t even know if the recovered knife assuming it was found at the scene, was found in the victims pocket or on the ground.

      What is known from a third party witness is that there was a verbal exchange between the drunk and the officers, that the officers had their guns drawn and that at the time the drunk was killed he was moving slowly towards the two police persons.

    • Arthur

      wow … use a gun on a knife fight …if u that scared dont be a cop…leave it to the real men …boy….and i hope u get shot because u have a burrito in ur hand and the cop got scared and thought that was a weapon….lol lol

      • PAX

        well, maybe crazy guy is the btch that brought a knife to a gun fight, eh?

  • Eve Fromm

    Wow not one bit of compassion,none.They killed this man.Someone loved him he was somebody’s son,(albeit a drunk and disorderly) but being drunk and (maybe mentally ill?)killed for being drunk.I would like people paid to Protect and Serve me not pull out a gun FIRST,maybe try to DE-escalate the situation,I know for a fact Police training is more than target practice,at least I would hope.I was there and I protest because these police have killed 2 men in less than 2 years,I would hope someone would care if the police killed me..

    • oldfart

      Where were the people that loved him, his family has a responsibility to keep him in check and safe, If they can not then don’t expect to feel any quilt, he got what he was asking for when ever you pull a weapon on a cop and advance.
      My guess he wanted to end it.

    • Donovan

      He was a useless bum. Just another transient who litter the streets of SF stinking up the place.

      The BART police are idiots to allow these incidents to happen to them again and again. Their idiocy is costing the city millions.

      However, a bum is still a bum.

      • Arthur

        wat do u think cops they think about u ….think about it …..be smart about wat u write

    • mechanic

      Trust me Eve: …. no one would care!

    • urolizzard

      You need a reality check and some serious therapy…Liberalism is indeed a mental illness there is treatment available. Get help quick before reality teaches you a lesson.

      • Arthur

        ok consevative bend over and take it up the u no what like allways..while we liberals fight the injustice….u guys are stuck with ur old ways ..afraid of change..well quess wat like the dinosaurs they didnt adapt to change so ther are gone…..like u and your other same minded sick people would be….

  • Honestly

    Cops are murderers with badges.

    • oldfart

      There are thousands more murderers without badges roaming the streets of Oakland that there are Oakland police, the same can be said for San Francisco, bart, Richmond, etc. This drunk, felon got what he deserved, at least I feel safer now that he will not be threatening the public.

      Good Job Bart Police, and keep up the good work

    • lillian carson

      Since then there have been others in power that could have opened them when they saw it wasn’t working. Whoever advised Regan should take part of the blame. The Mental Health system in this country is hurting the whole Country. The mentally disturbed have got to be controlled and helped not just tossed out into the streets.. Believe it or not they are human beings not garbage to be tossed.

  • http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2011/07/11/auditor-to-investigate-sf-bart-police-shooting/ Auditor To Investigate SF BART Police Shooting « CBS San Francisco

    […] >>BART Shooting Protest Planned At Civic Center Station […]

  • How Now

    It sounds like the cops were doing what they were supposed to do. We’re not allowed to brandish knives and broken bottles in public places in San Francisco.

    • PAX

      what about while drunk? can we brandish broken bottles & knives while drunk?

  • Tom Tone

    Good job BART POLICE!!!!!!! Your critics are sad, pathetic, illogical, drama ridden, delusional, northern California LOONS!!!! Good job BART Police!!!! The rest of the world applauds you!

    • FedUp withMurderingCops

      NO THEY DON’T applaud. Many wonder why trigger happy loons seem to get hired as cops – and especially by BART. Perhaps you gun freaks should go live in a dictatorship – because THAT is where unfettered police power thrives.

      • urolizzard

        The knife wielding Loonatic finally met justice. And so will the fluffy’s in this crime ridden misguided liberal city. Get a reality check go home study learn and walk the streets with caution.a loonatic is looking for weak misguided person like you to victimize.

  • neill

    It’s really quite simple, idiots: resist arrest and you will get fu$&ed up by the police. I’ve managed to go 34 years w/out an incident and am confident I will spend the rest of my life jail free as well as drama free.

    Anyone who pulls a knife or a gun on a cop SHOULD automatically be shot dead. Yes, dead. I’m sick of all you whiny wimps who think these violent people should be coddled when they get worked up into a psychotic frenzy. It’s survival of the fittest out here.

    • Arthur

      why would u bee proud of ur self ….survival of the fittest looks like u scared depending on others to keep u so called safe …go any where in latin america …thats survival of the fittest…talk when u know wat the hell u talking about…u sick sick man …..

  • Eric R. Poopington III

    Why did they shoot him? They should show love, not hate. Instead of shooting him, the cops should have hugged him, and cared for him. Maybe then this knife wielding man would have dropped his knife and realized the folly of his ways. The world is a happy place with rainbows aon candy clouds if you look hard enough. No one is really evil, just lost.

    • D

      LOL Your comment made my day

    • Miss Dee

      Made my day too…whew!

  • avg.joe

    This is a West Coast oddity! In Massachusetts shooting is the last option Police and wildlife officers use.They get back-up and take the perp down in a tackle or taze or use rubber bullets.The wildlife officers back east use tranquilizers and non lethal traps to subdue wildlife and transport the animal to it’s natural habitat or to a wildlife preserve or shelter! I don’t understand why in California people and animals are shot dead as a 1rst option!

    • Matthew

      avg.joe: This isn’t Massachusetts… go back to your gay marriage, sweety….

  • Rich B.

    So its ok for police to take lives abuse people and do shady dealings but people fighting to bring down injustice? how closed-minded prejudice and low life trashy can you be. as far as im concerned the BART police should removed all lethal weapons and only hire officers without prior prejudice mentalities

    • urolizzard

      Stupid has no racial connection or prejudice smoke your dope and stay off the streets reality awaits you

  • Phillip Moya

    This makes no since your telling me you don’t know what has happened other then he was drunk. So with that you will make it difficult for others to use the Bart. And if you find the officers were not at fault but a person who was drunk in public. You will have a demonstration showing you were wrong. Your insinuating the officer jumped the gun and shot this man. I say your jumping the gun you have no proof but you are willing to protest. Give me a break it’s just another reason complain. Your acting like kids grow up.

  • observer

    They call this balanced reporting? A witness who was present when this man was killed stated explicitly that he was NOT lunging at the BART police or moving toward them in a threatening manner. You mean to tell me cops with firewarms can’t hit a person in the legs to prevent an attack? Shame on you CBS for telling only the cops’ biased testimony that contradicts an eyewitness report by someone who has no reason to lie.

  • http://jamestolbertjrphotography.wordpress.com/2011/07/11/here-we-go-again/ here we go again « the unobtrusive minimalist

    […] BART police at the center of another shooting. […]

  • FedUp withMurderingCops

    There is NO reason for BART cops to have guns. Period. There are plenty of non-lethal ways to handle this sort of situation. Cops here in the ‘old West’ are trained to use lethal force – like Gestapo goons apparently. English police find other ways of dealing with problems other than shooting. Maybe we can get some of their trainers over here to show BART cops how to de-escalate a situation.

    • Hua

      British Transport Police (the counterpart of BART police) just issued with firearms under the demand of their senior officers.

  • MugWump

    Fine the protesters and also put them to work in forced labour brigades, just like the communist countries they cherish.

  • Zack Debarco

    Most of these protestors are on some form or welfare or if they do work, work under the table. They don’t have solidarity, a big word in their vocabulary, with the real working people who were greatly inconvenienced tonight. This is however the left coast and our public officials are all a bunch of weaklings and will try an appease these folks as much as possible. Were are those armed citizens when you need them? The BART cops are obviously not wanted.

  • Jeff

    So explain how police would have handled this WITHOUT guns in England and Ireland? Simply use pepper spray or tazer and this man would be alive. We are not a communist country where we just kill someone with a mental illness.

    • Arthur

      dam u have a point……..sick sick sick people that approve of this killing

  • South Bay Resident

    I think the BART Police are a very necessary fixture to the transit system, they should have been able to exercise prudent judgement with someone wielding a knife. However, shooting him and let’s say for people who are trained to be precision shots, they couldn’t have just shot him somewhere that didn’t involve killing him dead?

    As for the protesters..compassion is a very thin line for some people. They apparently have no compassion or any feelings for the people who rely on BART to get to and from work everyday, the people who use it because other forms of transportation are just not convenient. If you want to protest, then fine do it, but at least do it in a way that does not inhibit other people’s lives.

    • PAX

      dude, BART police aren’t world class snipers. “trained to be precision shots” = can hit general area of torso. also, what if they go for the leg, a much smaller area, miss him, bullet ricochets and kills some kid who is in the BART station? what then?
      i agree about the protestors. it is inappropriate to damage public property (BART trains) and i’m sure there’s some giant cost associated with delays and it’s just rude to put their anger and frustration on random passengers just trying to get somewhere.

  • f8u

    On behalf of all the affected commuters, I like to say F8ck y0u protesters!

    • wake up call for u.....

      well fu….k u too dumb nuts ….compliments of a liberal ….

  • Henry

    Maybe the cops should carry “40” ounce beers on their gunbelts when confronted by a drunk with a knife and empty beer bottle. Give the drunk a “40” and then drop his butt off at a protesters doorstep.

    You protesters (non SF natives) can go to hell!!!

    • wake up call for u.....

      u so dumb …….lol lol wow natives are the indians that where here in cali…before u …u shust sound dum as hell…..

  • john_smith

    until you’ve been in their shoes, you shouldn’t criticize. how would you like it if i saw a bad day at your job and said you’re a worthless piece of krap and a failure?
    and working in law enforcement, i have a life as well and am entitled to it. yes, my job is dangerous but when you threaten me, my family will be affected should something happen.
    and if i shot to wound the person, they’d probably sue the department and live off all our taxes, which is why it’s cheaper to shoot someone dead.
    sad to say, but this is life. realize it people. you dont like it, live somewhere else where you can’t even imagine what “injustice” is.

    • wake up call for u.....

      sue the person …ok just kill the guy …wow ur a good problem solver…lol lol u diot
      u and ur other freaks could leave the united states …wats justice man using a gun rather than a taser that u have to subdue the man ..wow u dont know justice…think before u write something because u make ur self look like a fool…..

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