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On July 2, while drunk and barely able to stand up, Charles Hill was gunned down on the civic center BART platform by a BART Police Officer. This marked the third officer involved shooting since Oscar Grant was shot, and the sixth in BART police history.
Right away, we knew not to believe BART's version of events. They have lied to the public and attempted to cover up the facts following every single one of the officer-involved shootings that made it into the press. We saw this process play out in painstaking detail following the shooting of Oscar Grant (not to mention the murders of Jerrold Hall and Bruce Seward), so we know their routine.
We anticipated, that as before, witnesses would dispute the police version of events. We knew that BART police would try to hide the evidence, as they denied the existence of and tried to confiscate video footage of the Oscar Grant shooting. They claimed they would not release the video, and then tried to pass the buck on the decision to the DA. It took a BART Action at Civic Center demanding the release of the video in order to get this video evidence out to the public.
When bart released the video our fears about the incident were confirmed. Also, we learned details about the shooting that DIRECTLY contradicted claims BART police chief Kenton Rainey had made at press conferences. Which means we caught him in a bald faced lie, defending wrongdoing by his officers. Which is the same thing that happened with then BART Police Chief Gee and the Oscar Grant shooting. Like Chief Gee, Rainey has defended the officers, claiming that they had followed police procedure and he wanted to get them back on the job. Even though we can see from the video, and we know from the eye witnesses, that there was no real threat posed to the officers on the platform when Charles Hill was shot.
Following BART's pattern, both officers (like the ones who stood by while Oscar Grant was gunned down) were put back on the job after 3 days, undisciplined, while the shooter, whose identity has been discovered, was trying to negotiate a job with the FBI. Crowell was allowed to resign quietly from BART, not unlike Johannes Mehserle who was also allowed to resign rather than be fired, so that it would be easier for him to take another job and defend himself in court. The pattern is clear: little has changed since Oscar Grant was murdered. Noone is ever fired at BART. As a result of BART's lack of accountability, we now have a trigger-happy coward working for the FBI (scary thought!).
The video and witness statements now provide ample proof that both BART Police Officer James Crowell and Police Chief Rainey have engaged in serious misconduct. Now that Crowell has left BART, he can't be fired, but Rainey still needs to be fired and investigated, and Crowell should be charged by the DA.