Posts Tagged ‘Bay Area Rapid Transit’

The BART S.W.A.T. Team Makes a Bust in San Francisco’s Civic Center

Wednesday, July 29th, 2009

This is just a routine bust from yesterday in the Civic Center. But can you see Officer Lennan’s golden S.W.A.T. badge?  

Didn’t know that BART‘s SWAT team (cue musicwalked around without their assault rifles. Thusly:

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SWAT (Special Weapons And Tactics)

“The BART Police Department maintains several specialized units to deal with the variety of needs which may arise within the BART system. One of these units is the SWAT (Special Weapons And Tactics) Team. 

The department’s SWAT Team was established to deal with situations within the BART system which require equipment, techniques and training which are beyond the norms for most police officers.

Personnel assigned to the SWAT Team and assigned personnel have other full-time assignments within the department. Personnel are selected from applicants based on a range of criteria including: physical fitness, firearms proficiency, and supervisory recommendations. Members of the team receive specialized training from several sources including local F.B.I. courses and joint training with other local teams. Personnel on BART’s SWAT Team have developed proficiency with a number of specialized weapons and with techniques designed to increase their efficiency and safety in dealing with situations unique to underground transit systems.

Team members train on scenarios which include situations on-board trains within tunnels, on elevated trackways, or in stations. In addition to situations unique to the BART system, the department’s SWAT Team is also utilized to make “high-risk entries” pursuant to warrants obtained by the department. When crimes occur within the BART system which lead to the issuance of arrest or search warrants, an evaluation is done to determine if the service of the warrant will present a risk to officers or the public. In cases where there is a high potential for violence, the SWAT Team is utilized for the initial entry.

The use of the specially trained team members decreases the likelihood for resistance and enhances the safety of police personnel, occupants of the residence and the surrounding community.

The department’s Hostage Negotiation Team works in conjunction with the SWAT team.”

If I ever get busted by the BART police, I hope it’s the SWAT team that does it…

AB 312 – A First Step for Civilian Oversight of the BART Police

Wednesday, February 18th, 2009

The full text isn’t available online yet, but it looks like the San Francisco Bay Guardian will be pleased with the latest Assembly Bill to sprout up in Sacramento. AB 312, first proposed last month, will bring changes to the BART police force. Read all about it:

“Following the fatal shooting of Oscar Grant on New Year’s Day by BART police officer Johannes Mehserle, Assemblymember Tom Ammiano (D-San Francisco) and Senator Leland Yee (D-San Francisco) introduced much anticipated legislation today (AB 312) that would create a civilian oversight body for the BART police force.”

Senator Leland Yee and Assemblymember Tom Ammiano working together once again:

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“The shooting of Oscar Grant is a sad and unfortunate reminder that the BART Police needs additional oversight as exists for other law enforcement agencies. Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time a young person has been shot and killed by an on-duty officer with BART.  There have been other deaths and untold numbers of cases of brutality”, said Ammiano. “The BART Board’s proposed internal subcommittee to review BART police practices, while appreciated, is simply not enough. A young man was killed and the community is justifiably outraged, it’s long overdue for civilian oversight.”

“BART currently lacks adequate public oversight and accountability of its police department,” said Yee. “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.  Our legislation will finally end this untenable situation.”

Several major police departments in the state, including San Francisco, Los Angeles and San Jose, have civilian oversight bodies, but BART police do not despite the fact that BART covers four Bay Area counties.

The Oscar Grant Shooting Protests Head to San Francisco

Monday, January 12th, 2009

This was the scene tonight at United Nations Plaza near the Civic Center BART station. A crowd of about 200 hundred people gathered to protest the New Year’s Day shooting death of Oscar Grant III.

“No justice, no peace, fuck the police” – that was one of the chants tonight, along with a few others. One speaker criticised the San Francisco Bay Area Answer Coalition, Act Now to Stop War and End Racism (also known as International A.N.S.W.E.R.) with the response “fuck them too”  from another. Ouch. (The kids over at IndyBay might not have appreciated those comments, as manifested by the edits to their site tonight. Oh well.)

There’s a lot of agreement on this issue, from Attorney General Jerry Brown to Senator Leland Yee to Assemblymember Tom Ammiano to Supervisor David Campos. Change for the BART police will be coming, sooner or later.

Now for some photos, click to expand. These two kicked things off by getting down on the ground and attracting the attention of about 20 camera people. That’s some photojournalism right there. But Young Joe Eskanazi sees this as a problem. (Yes he failed to count himself, and others.)

With City Hall in the background:

This was the bulk of the crowd, conservatively(!) estimated at 150, per an IndyBay commenter. Throw in lots of media, about 50 Canon “L” (for luxury, about $1000 a clip) camera lenses and a ton of cops and you had lots of activity:

Foster Grant, Obama, and Malcom X:

The lone San Francisco Police Department uniformed officer on site in with the crowd was a Captain, leading from the front: 

Two helicopters and the Evening Star rising so it’s time to march on over to Union Square and the Financh.: 

The march to Powell Station, with more leadership from the aforementioned Capitan.

Orange “less lethal” shotgun with a clip of bean bag bullets. No TASER seen:

Can you see the garbage can? This youth dragged it into the middle of Kearny Street for some reason, inciting a what’s a matter you gesture from a taxi driver. Other youts threw some aluminum chairs for a bit in Union Square:

So there you have it. To be continued.

BART is Free for Kids all day on May 4th – “Ride the Chocolate Line” with the Nesquik Bunny

Friday, April 25th, 2008

Hey parents! Are you sick of getting only a 62.5% discount for your kids aged 4 to 12 when you ride on the Bay Area Rapid Transit? Well then, May 4, 2008 is your lucky day because that’s when the discount goes up all the way to 100%, courtesy of the Nestle Nesquik Bunny.

The Bunny’s neck bling used to be a giant letter “Q” but it looks like he’s moved on to a giant letter “N”. Fair enough. Mark your calendar today.


yayjackieyay via Flickr

It’s On! It’s on AGAIN! Free Tully’s Coffee at Bay Area BART Stations.

Thursday, April 17th, 2008

Next Tuesday, April 22, 60 volunteers from TransFair USA will hand out vouchers for free Fair Trade and organic coffee from Tully’s at six busy BART stations.

So if you’re riding BART from 6:00 to 9:00 AM and you’re at any of the following stations – Montgomery Street, Embarcadero, Powell Street, Civic Center, Oakland City Center/12th Street or Downtown Berkeley – make sure you get your Tully’s swag.

Tuesday, Tuesday Tuesday! It’s on!

nakagawa-kun via Flickr

Full details after the jump

Help Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) Choose a New Fare Chart Design

Thursday, April 10th, 2008

BART is currently evaluating three alternate designs for the fare charts located in its stations. Take a moment or two to give them your opinion, if you want.

And while you’re at it ask them to roll back rates to what they were in 1997, if you want.