BART Officers In SF Shooting Had No Mental Health Training

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – The two Bay Area Rapid Transit police officers involved in a fatal shooting earlier this month at the Civic Center station in San Francisco have yet to receive training in dealing with the mentally ill.

BART is giving its police officers training on mental health issues just as police field officers receive.

But the officers who said they were attacked by 45-year-old Charles Hill at the Civic Center station on July 3rd, had not yet been trained.  Hill, a homeless man, was likely suffering from mental health issues, according to authorities.

KCBS’ Bob Melrose Reports:

Anne Weills, an Oakland attorney, said at this week’s BART Police oversight committee that if the officers had been trained, it might have been different.

”This man did not have to die. This man was mentally disabled, and lived in a homeless shelter in San Francisco,” said Weills.

It may take years to train all of San Francisco’s police officers in dealing with people suffering from mental health issues.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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  • MST

    Attorney Anne Weills comments are out of line. She was not present at the scene of the shooting and regardless of a suspect’s mental illness or not, a police officer has a right and duty to protect him or herself from serious harm or death and to do so also to protect the public for the same reasons. Having dealt with violent mentally ill people, I can say that not all can be talked down, not all can be calmed and soothed. Some are so out of control that the only option is force. If this guy was armed with a knife and bottle, he was a threat to BART passengers as well as anyone else on that platform. How about letting the investigation be completed before uninformed attorneys, reporters and “activists” make their comments.

  • Soonerdiver

    Nicely stated MST… the general public is quick to respond and hang the police officers out to dry. Regardless of the fact they know nothing of the matter at hand.

    • dmm

      thank you!!

  • Monika Weiler

    BART shooting
    What difference would it have made if the Officer had received Mental Health training. Are we expecting Law Enforcement officers to ask first ” are you mentaly ill” give them a break what is wrong with the world?, For those of you who do not ride BART, you have no clue what is going on in the trains and on the Plattforms, perhaps you should tryu taking the train every day for 20 years, you will find out.

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  • kathy

    Yes the mentally ill need to be handled in a different manner and the training is necessary because mentally ill people live amongst us…just like they are trainng them how to deal with animals….dogs…cats…lions, tigers and bears…Not to just walk up and shoot somebodies dog…….they should train for any and everything that they might come up against….Nuts are people too…..they would handle or should handle situations on a case by case basis…When you got a disturbed person you don’t just kill them……This isn’t the first case……….TRAIN.

    • RealityCheck

      This disturbed person caused the shooting, not the BART PD. He was acting out on a train platform and armed with a knife and a bottle. If you doubt that you can be killed with either one, I assure you that you can. From your rambling post you seen to be lacking some mental faculties yourself. Yes, nuts are people too but there are far too many people who believe the world owes them something. Guess what, the world does not owe you a thing. Treat people the way you want to be treated and if you act violent, you will be visited with violence.

  • CQ

    All law enforcement academies already have for many years gave training on dealing with those who have mental health issues. If BART had not given their local version of this information, so what.
    Officers have a right, as every other citizen does, to use force, including deadly force if they believe they are in imminent threat of serious injury or death!

    • DaPoPoMan

      All BART PD officers attend POST accredited academies and as such they have all received training in dealing with mentally ill people. Mentally ill people can kill you just as easily as someone who is not mentally ill. Well done in this incident officer!

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