BART police shooting caught on video

I’m out of the country at the moment, but this crossed my path and I thought it was worth passing on. The following is quoted from this post by Jacob Appelbaum:

It appears that police in Oakland shot and killed a man on New Years Eve. He was apparently involved in a fight on BART but this is unclear as things quickly spiraled out of control. The police pulled him and several other people off of the train.

There was an SF Gate story on the incident. The story (for those who aren’t reading the link) details what the witnesses saw. In short, a man was shot and it was said he was shot in the back, while on the ground. The comments on the story are horrible, most of them directly side with the police and suggest that all of the witnesses were lying. Some of the comments are simply racist and many suggest this is what you get for having a fight in public. While I certainly found it doubtful that the police would murder someone or even shoot them in the back (especially in such a crowd) it’s pretty clear that this is what happened.

At least two people took videos of the shooting and one of them had a direct line of sight. You can clearly see that the victim is talking to the police. He raises his hands as any reasonable person would, especially when dealing with the police. This is I would expect someone to comply, to show that they don’t have a weapon and that they mean no harm. The police put him on his stomach. This was with multiple police officers handling him.

He was reported to have begged to not be tasered. Supposedly he said that he had a four year old daughter right before he was put on the ground. The police officer in the video is clearly not at risk of any serious violence. Another police officer was holding the victim down. He had time to think and his response was to pull his gun, stand up, wait, aim and then he fired a shot directly into his back.

Unfucking believable.

Time to send that cop to prison where he belongs. He undermines any reasonable authority we give to the police. He and police like him are the reason that I have very little faith in any authority. I feel for the family of the young man who was murdered. I hope they sue the shit out of the police and they take that cop down like the pig that he is.

Here’s a link to the video.

5 Comments so far

  1. scottythebody on January 5th, 2009 @ 12:56 pm

    That is so clearly murder, such a horrendous abuse of power and a tragedy for the murdered man’s family (not to mention the young man himself). It’s amazing to me that the cop did that with all those people watching. Like Mr. Applebaum says, you wouldn’t believe it if you heard the story told.

    This is the same type of violence and the the same sort of cops that Rodney King saw throughout his life in LA, and people wonder why people don’t always just lie down when cops start beating the shit out of them. In some places, including, tragically, the US, the cops will fucking kill you.

  2. Jason DeFillippo (jason) on January 5th, 2009 @ 1:45 pm

    There is no reason short of that man having a bomb and his finger on the trigger that should have elicited that response. It’s cold blooded murder. The kid was down with another officer on his neck and shot in the back. How can anyone defend this action?

  3. albtrssp on January 5th, 2009 @ 6:09 pm

    I don’t see how suing the shit out the police is going to help any of us. It’s sure as hell not going to hurt the police department, since you and I end up paying for any settlement through our taxes. Either the police show that they now have a budget shortfall and ask for more funding (great, now BART tickets get more expensive), or they cut staff or pay them less (do you think cheaper or more more stressed out cops are going to help anything?)

    I’m not saying that there shouldn’t be a lawsuit – and of course there will be one – but it’s not going to help a single thing in the end.


  4. padster on January 8th, 2009 @ 6:03 am

    @ albtrssp –

    Of COURSE it helps, if trigger happy morons on the police force know that they are likely to be videoed and the BUSTED for behaving in a criminal/murderous manner. The next cop that feels like pulling his gun when it isn’t warranted might think twice, if he knows that it might end his career.

  5. Officer in BART Shooting arrested on Murder charges | San Francisco Metblogs (pingback) on January 13th, 2009 @ 10:21 pm

    […] the officer invovled in the BART shooting and killing of an unarmed man (previously discussed here and here) has been arrested in Nevada on Murder charges. The Mercury News has more info, but not […]

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