OAKLAND (KPIX 5) — A BART board meeting on Thursday was shut down by the vocal protests of family and friends of a man killed by BART police last month, demanding the officer be fired and prosecuted.
Family members and supporters of Shaleem Tindle were calling the fatal officer involved shooting that took Tindle’s life near the West Oakland BART station last month a public lynching.
Unsatisfied with what they see as a lack of action, the protesters stormed into the Oakland meeting late Thursday morning and broke into loud chants, shouting “Justice for Sahleem Tindle!” in unison.
They also demanded the officer be locked up.
Before taking over the meeting, representatives spent a couple of hours telling BART directors to fire Officer Joseph Mateu.
On Wednesday, BART police released video taken by Mateu’s body camera.
In the clip, two gun shots are heard before Manteu runs across the street toward the gun shots.
He sees two men fighting on the ground and screams out “Let me see your hands!” five times before shooting Tindle in the back.
“My son was murdered. He was shot in the back, with his hands up, unarmed,” said Tindle’s mother Yolanda Banks Reed.
But during a press conference Wednesday, authorities showed photos that had circled what is believed to be a gun in Tindle’s hands before Mateu shot him.
“Is there a life being threatened? Whether it’s the officer’s life or a member of the community? And is deadly force justified at the time? And that’s what the investigation will reveal over time,” said BART Police Chief Carlos Rojas.
Tindle’s family doesn’t buy it, saying Tindle defended himself by trying to wrestle the gun out of the other man’s hands.
“It’s lynching. Hands up, it’s lynching,” said one of Tindle’s brothers.
Some in the crowd even warned BART officials if they didn’t remove Officer Mateu, other people may go after him.
The officer is currently back patrolling the streets.
“What about your son, your daughter? You would have an uproar,” Reed said during public comment.
After the crowd finished commenting, BART directors said would they have to wait and allow the independent investigations.
That led to the takeover of the meeting.
Despite the interruption, the protest remained peaceful. BART police stayed back to allow the group to chant.
Oakland police are leading the investigation into the officer involved shooting case. So far, there is no word on how long it could take.