OAKLAND (CBS SF) – BART Police Chief Kenton Rainey said Thursday that he believes a video of a recent confrontation at the Civic Center station in San Francisco shows that a man threw a bottle and a knife at two officers before one of the officers fatally shot him.

BART Interim General Manager Sherwood Wakeman said multiple investigations into the July 3 incident are continuing but San Francisco police, who are the lead investigators, said the video could be released to the news media and the public because they finished interviewing all the witnesses in the case.

BART is releasing the 73-second-long video because the transit agency, Wakeman said, “wants to have as much transparency as possible.”

Charles Hill, 45, was killed in the incident on the platform at the Civic Center station, but he is not shown in the video, as it shows only part of the platform.

KCBS’ Chris Filippi Reports:

While showing the video to reporters at BART’s headquarters, Rainey said two officers—one white, the other Asian—arrived at the station at 9:45 p.m. on July 3 after BART received reports that Hill was carrying an open bottle of alcohol and was wobbling on the platform.

Rainey said that when the officers first got off a train and arrived at the station they “walked very casually” in the direction where they thought Hill was and then the white officer, who was the primary officer in the incident, put on his gloves, apparently because he thought there would be “some type of physical contact” and wanted to protect himself from potential communicable diseases.

At that point, the video indicates that Hill threw a bottle at the two officers, said Rainey, who showed the video both in regular time and in slow motion.

The Asian officer is not in the frame at that point or in the rest of the video, but Rainey said he was injured by the knife.

The video then shows the white officer drawing his service weapon, holding it in his left hand and bracing his outstretched left arm with his right hand.

The officer apparently “felt threatened in some way,” Rainey said.

The video shows the officer moving his mouth and Rainey said he believes the officer was commanding Hill to drop his knife.

The video next shows the knife coming near the officer, hitting the side of a train and ricocheting to the platform, where it came to rest.

The officer then fired his gun, the video indicates.

KCBS’ Holly Quan Reports:

Rainey said three shell casings were recovered on the station platform and indicates that the officer fired three shots.

He said the preliminary indication is that Hill was struck by all three shots, but he cautioned that the investigations have not been completed and there has not yet been an official determination of how many shots were fired and how many times Hill was hit.

The knife that Hill allegedly threw at the officers was 8 inches long, including a 4-inch blade, Rainey said.

A second knife of the same size was also found on the platform and investigators believe Hill was armed with that knife as well, Rainey said. He showed photographs of both knives to reporters.

The officer who shot and killed Hill also was carrying a Taser but chose to use his gun instead, Rainey said.

He said officers are justified in using a gun if they believe a suspect could cause “serious injury or death” either to officers or the public, Rainey said.

The investigations into the incident are being conducted by the San Francisco Police, the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office, the BART Police Department’s internal affairs unit and BART Independent Police Auditor Mark Smith.

Rainey said it was not known how much longer it will take to complete all the investigation but he said San Francisco police try to provide updates on officer-involved shootings within 45 days.

Smith said his role is to make sure that BART police investigate the shooting properly and determine if further investigation is needed.

He said, “I will hold the Police Department’s feet to the fire.”

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

Comments (37)
  1. Mark D. says:

    What are they supposed to do when someone attacks them with deadly force, hand them a flower and give them a hug??? I cannot believe the idiots who view these criminals as victims. Enough is enough! Support the police, they just might save your life next!

    1. Riki says:

      You must be white

      1. ST says:

        You must be ignorant.

      2. deez says:

        You do know the man they killed was a white male, right?

      3. Kevin says:

        Why are people nowadays such hippies. It is not cool to protest everything in the world. A man drew a knife, wouldn’t put it down, so he has to be shot. God you people are ridiculous. If you were in that situation, or if a man broke into your house with a knife, you would shoot him in a second. Stupid hippies.

      4. thetruthhurts says:

        You must be loud and annoying and always protecting criminals and believe that money earned from a hard days work by someone should be shared to everyone.

      5. tam says:

        Most white people (Asians) follow the dictates of the group. They understand that following the rules will allow you to get in to the position of making the rules. So if a person of authority tells them to do something, they do it e.g. “study hard” “drop the knife”
        Unfortunately, many non white people are less inclined to do what they are told. So when the cops shoot somebody who was not doing what they were told, whites and Asians will fault the person who did not submit to authority and see the cops as doing their job.

  2. tg says:

    If I had my weapon on me, I’d have shot the guy too if I had a knife thrown at me.

  3. stephen says:

    Sad to see it happen again, but what the officers were suppose to do when people are not backing down even being confronted by officers with lethal weapons. As an officer , are you going to play it safe or risk your own life by second guessing yourself..If this happens to you ,and you have a family waiting for you at home.. the choice is easy one.

  4. Sonlay says:

    The officer had to react fast and he chose a route that probably saved their own lives and many others on the platform. I can’t get upset over this because the guy attacked them first by throwing a knife at them. Can’t always take the cautious route if others can be in danger.

  5. rfb says:

    The older i get , the less compassion i have for people,who play on railroad track`s, jump over railing`s for a closer look,point gun`s at the police, and fire and in this case confront the cop`s , drunk, obnoxious, and throwing knife`s. Certainly their are some who will defend these idiot`s by rioting,destroying property, attacking police e.t.c! One can argue that it`s horrible that these folk`s lost their live`s, i can`t help but think God has way`s of ” thinning the rank`s” of people who make up their own rule`s with complete disregard for themselves`s and other`s, I`ll go to hell for these comment`but what the hell!

  6. 408 says:

    he pulled a knife on the police after throwing a glass bottle at them, both considered deadly weapons, and felonies in there own right. He came at the officer with the knife in a threatening manner and the police man used deadly force to protect his life, the life of his partner, and innocent bystanders. There is nothing wrong in what this officer did. He only appears to discharge his duty weapon two or three times which is reasonable force to take a person down and showed alot of restraint in my opinion once the threat was neutralized. Sad the man died but he was unstable or intoxicated and thats not the policemans fault he has the legal right to defend himself.

  7. BMAC says:

    Nope, no good! I’m sure that folks will insist that it was all a set-up; the video was doctored, and that the suspect had no weapon, and that he was actually blowing a kiss at the officers. C’mon, people! It’s tough enough being an officer out there on the dangerous streets, without everybody starting riots every time a suspect resists arrest, and pulls a weapon on police.

  8. pookie says:

    Um, do these so-called police ever get trained to wing a person? Or does it always have to be killing? I don’t understand why it is ok to shoot to kill a drunk. That’s excessive and stupid, not to mention immoral. Other parts of the world deal with drunks on public transit all the time — the end result is not killing.

    1. Charlton Heston says:

      Guns don’t kill people, people with GUNS kill people. I think our cops are trained to kill. Oh Joy!

    2. The Captain says:

      “Wing a person?” lol. You ever seen a silhouette at a gun range? Ever see a bullseye on a silhouette’s wing? You aim center-mass. 1. NEVER drawn a gun unless you intend to use it. 2. If you have to shoot, shoot to kill.

      1. FNP9 says:

        #1. agreed
        #2. agreed

    3. Anthony Nguyen says:

      Other parts of the world only have only race. In America, we have Spanish, Asian, White, Black and their personalities are all different among one another. A black cop understand and can deals with black thug or an Asian cop can talk to Asian thug into drop his weapon. For example, I don’t think black or white cops can really understand the Vietnamese or Chinese in a situation like this. Thus, you have to shoot to protect yourself first.

      1. Anthony Nguyen says:

        A black cop understand and can deals with black thug or an Asian cop can talk to Asian thug into drop his weapon. However, I don’t think black or white cops can really understand the Vietnamese or Chinese in a situation like this.

      2. The Captain says:

        Drawing a pistol and screaming “drop your weapon” is universally understood. This whole race thing is b.s.

  9. bh says:

    The video only shows officer engaged in target practice. Murder if you ask me. Take away your emotions and just look at the released video…..

    1. jeffrey adonal says:

      Murder? Target practice? You bleeding heart liberal moron. Like to see what you’d do if you had a gun and the same situation was presented to you. Maybe you’d offer it to the perp so he could gun you or someone else down.

      1. hun says:

        with BH

  10. Daniel Moore says:

    Don’t do dumb stuff like this and chances are you won’t get shot.

  11. adolf says:

    Gun vs Knife. Gun wins. Ultimate warrior battle. Taser vs Knife? We will never know because it’s to much work to subdue a drunk. Plus the white officer has lil Asian partner with no martial art experience It’s easier to kill the drunken ca-ca roach.

  12. Gerro says:

    Shoot the LEG, HAND or Butt for God’s sake. Why aim at teh heart ot Head. Now this cop like many others will need therapy or the rest of their life on our taxpayers tab. Most of teh people they shoot are not sane otherwise we would all go throwing frappucino bottles at them.

    SHOT to disarm not to KILL our well trained bart officers.

    1. Mark D. says:

      This is not the movies. Police are not taught to shoot the weapon out of the hand. They are taught to shoot the suspect center of mass to minimize the chance that someone else gets hurt and to stop the threat. It is called Deadly Force for a damn good reason.

  13. Hun says:

    wow – no this was TOTALLY unecesary. If a cop is being shot at… OK … but this was EXCESIVE. Do not approve. Where the tasers!!!!!!???/

    1. Mark D. says:

      Last I checked the SFPD does not carry Tasers because the city council did not approve them. But, this was a DEADLY FORCE situation and Tasers are NOT for deadly force situations. If an officer is attacked with a knife then DEADLY FORCE is authorized. And the title indicates that the suspect may not survive the force used.

  14. Rich H. says:

    The argument of using a taser against a knife throwing crazy drunken maniac is foolish. The argument for winging a crazed knife thrower is dumb. Don’t throw knifes at police and they will not kill you, it’s actually very simple.

    1. Adolf says:

      In the video the drunk threw two knives and bottle why didn’t they shoot after the first knife, if the officer felt he was threaten. Why three bullets? No weapon in hand. I think officer think it’s cool to kill. Dog the Bounty Hunter never uses a gun but he gets his man.

      1. Mark D. says:

        Dog the Bounty Hunter is a convicted felon and cannot legally carry a firearm or he would. Adolf, if someone attacks you with a knife what are you going to do? And your belief that police think it is cool to kill someone shows how out of touch with reality you are. Go back to your bounty hunter shows and leave public safety decisions to the professionals.

  15. Rob says:

    Of course, as the video shows, the officers approach the threat…then one shoots him. Do as I say or I will kill you, even though I can tell you’re drunk and not in control of your own actions. Transit police, campus police, industrial police, special police…all the same…goofy standards, reject candidates, who knows, their own “administration” to run them…who are they accountable to? It seems no one,….except God.

  16. Bart Rider says:

    Cop did the right thing! Fool throwing a knife at a cop should be ready to bite a bullet.
    Dear protestors,
    Next time you see drunken dude with a knife on BART station just take him to your home, introduce him to your family and kids, and service him nice meal…
    Here is another one, when you’re waiting for your loved one to come back from work just imagine here on BART next to an innocent drunk dude with knife…
    Once again , cop did the right thing