BART officials keep highlighting that their job is to provide safe passage for its passengers. That's true. But they are also part of a government agency with a police force. That power comes with the duty to use law enforcement authority responsibly, and with restraint.
Unfortunately, BART doesn't seem to recognize that. Police have fatally shot two men on station platforms in the past 2 ½ years.
BART GETS IT WRONG ARTICLE HERE!
What does the police killing of a homeless man in San Francisco have to do with the Arab Spring uprisings from Tunisia to Syria? The attempt to suppress the protests that followed.
In our digitally networked world, the ability to communicate is increasingly viewed as a basic right. Open communication fuels revolutions – it can take down dictators. When governments fear the power of their people, they repress, intimidate and try to silence them, whether in Tahrir Square or downtown San Francisco.
Charles Blair Hill was shot and killed on the Bay Area Rapid Transit system’s Civic Center platform on July 3, by BART police Officer James Crowell. BART police reportedly responded to calls about a man drinking on the underground subway platform. According to police, Hill threw a vodka bottle at the two officers and then threatened them with a knife, at which point Crowell shot him. Hill was pronounced dead at the hospital.
AMY GOODMAN ARTICLE HERE!
Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.) suggested the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) agency may have gone "too far" when it shut down cell service to control a protest last week.
"BART is learning a lesson that requires closer examination," said Speier, who represents part of San Francisco and San Mateo County. "I believe BART needs to work harder to understand the ever-changing relationship between security and liberty. And to this end, we should replace finger-pointing with constructive dialogue that addresses security measures that go too far.
On Monday, a spokesman for the Federal Communications Commission confirmed that the agency was looking into BART's actions.
The FCC may have jurisdiction over the issue under the Communications Act of 1934. Section 333 of the Act states, "No person shall willfully or maliciously interfere with or cause interference to any radio communications of any station licensed or authorized by or under this chapter."
FULL STORY HERE!
BART cell shutdown unconstitutional? Not so fast – California Beat