Here’s the latest on this, below.
San Francisco Officials Announce Legislation to Provide Greater Accountability and Public Oversight of BART Police
SAN FRANCISCO – Senator Leland Yee (D-San Francisco) and Assemblyman Tom Ammiano (D-San Francisco) issued the following joint statement in response to the New Year’s Day shooting involving a Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) police officer:
“BART currently lacks adequate public oversight and accountability of its police department. Complaints and grievances against BART police officers have been investigated and adjudicated internally without any independent review. This is a classic case of the fox guarding the hen house.
The recent incident involving a BART police officer fatally shooting an unarmed man is extremely tragic and disturbing. Although all the evidence surrounding this case is not yet known, the video footage is beyond troubling. While the vast majority of our men and women in uniform serve with dignity and honor, there is an unfortunate reputation that has plagued the BART police force for years.
In 1957, BART was constituted as a result of state legislation with governance granted to an elected Board of Directors. Regrettably, the Board has failed to provide a proper mechanism for public input and comment on BART police policy. Unlike the San Francisco Police Commission, BART lacks any real means for the public to air their grievances regarding police conduct or for an independent body that can propose corrective actions.
The taxpayers of the Bay Area deserve their law enforcement officials, including the 206 BART officers, to be held accountable. As two of the state legislators who represent communities serviced by BART, we plan to immediately introduce joint legislation that will finally ensure an independent oversight body is established, public input is accepted, complaints and grievances are fairly considered, and responsible action is taken.
While serving on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, together we responded to incidents of government malfeasance by authoring one of the nation’s strongest sunshine ordinances. This latest incident again highlights the need for new legislation to ensure greater accountability and public oversight.”
To be continued…