BART Police Defend Using Stun Gun On Passenger

SAN BRUNO (KPIX 5) – The chief of the BART Police Department defended the actions of an officer who repeatedly used a stun gun on a passenger late last month. Meanwhile, KPIX 5 has obtained a second video of the incident.

The second video shows up close what happened during the January 29th incident, which took place inside a BART train at the San Bruno station.

On that night, a passenger called BART Police to complain that the man, identified as Robert Asberry, was drunk and harassing riders. When an officer tracks the man down, he repeatedly asks him to get off the train. The officer said, “Sir, get off the train. Get off the train, sir!”

After refusing to listen, the officer used a stun gun on Asberry. Minutes later, when he is on the ground and in the presence of other officers, the same officer used the stun gun on the passenger for five full seconds.

“As you saw in the video, the officer was extremely patient,” Chief Kenton Rainey of BART Police told KPIX 5.

Rainey admitted that the officer who used the stun gun is fairly new, but defended the officer’s actions. He said the officer’s use of the stun gun for a second time seemed reasonable.

“I saw the subject still kicking, struggling with the officer,” Rainey said.

KPIX 5 also showed the video to Don Cameron, a former BART police officer who is now a tactical trainer.

“I think both tasings were appropriate simply because they couldn’t get him handcuffed,” Cameron said. “He wouldn’t listen.”

Some of the people on board the train at the time did not agree. In the video, they can be heard telling the officer that Asberry did nothing wrong. A woman who was sitting next to him insisted Asberry was harmless.

State law gives law enforcement a year to conduct the internal affairs investigation. BART hopes to wrap it up in six months.

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