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Politics

BART Board Delays Vote On Cellphone Policy

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A protestor pretends to talk on a cell phone as he taunts a Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) police officer at the Civic Center station on August 15, 2011 in San Francisco.  (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

A protestor pretends to talk on a cell phone as he taunts a Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) police officer at the Civic Center station on August 15, 2011 in San Francisco. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

MargieShafer20100909_KCBS_0346r Margie Shafer
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OAKLAND (KCBS)— The Bay Area Rapid Transit Board of Directors has postponed a vote on a new cell phone policy. Board members were supposed to vote Thursday, but said they want that policy to be “crystal clear” before it is adopted.

On August 11th, BART decided to shut down cell phone service at downtown San Francisco stations, when they got word activists were planning on organizing an interruption of BART service. They were protesting the shooting death of a 45-year-old man, Charles Hill, by BART police.

The cellphone service interruption triggered a series of new protests against the decision and BART management.

KCBS’ Margie Shafer Reports:

According to witnesses, Hill appeared to be drunk and stumbling, just before being shot and BART police maintain that he lunged at an officer and was armed with a bottle and at least a knife.

BART’s General Manager Grace Crunican, who was hired after the shooting incident, said the August 11th event “would not trigger the restriction of cellphones in the future”.

BART board member Lynette Sweet said the policy needs to be “air tight” and that no room for ambiguity should be left.

Part of the debate lies within who at BART should make the call to terminate cellphone service.

A lawyer at the American Civil Liberties Union said the board was continuing to move in a positive direction.

A revised policy could be voted on as early as mid November.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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