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The BART Killing Still Bleeds
Jim Kirwan
The Protest March in Oakland will still be held despite the arrest of the fugitive Ex-cop in the New Year's Day BART killing in Fruitvale.
BART officer arrested on murder warrant in NY Day shooting
Demian Bulwa, Leslie Fulbright, Henry K. Lee, Chronicle Staff Writers
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
"(01-14) 00:13 PST Oakland -- The BART police officer who fatally shot an unarmed man on an Oakland train platform and then refused to explain his actions to investigators was arrested Tuesday in Nevada on suspicion of murder, authorities said.
BART Shooting
Mehserle to appear at extradition hearing 01.14.09
Ex-officer Mehserle arrested in Nevada 01.14.09
Oakland braces for another protest 01.13.09
S.F. protesters: 'We are Oscar Grant!' 01.12.09
BART officials complete preliminary probe 01.12.09
Carroll: My hometown 01.13.09
BART calls meeting on killing, gets flak 01.11.09
Brown pushes D.A. to act swiftly 01.10.09
CBS 5 video: Shooting caught on video 01.06.09
Full Coverage: Photos, videos, stories
Johannes Mehserle, 27, of Lafayette was taken into custody in Douglas County, Nev., said Deputy Steve Velez of the Douglas County sheriff's office. The arrest was also confirmed by David Chai, chief of staff to Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums.
Mehserle was arrested in the New Year's Day shooting of Oscar Grant, a 22-year-old supermarket worker from Hayward who was lying facedown after being pulled off a BART train by police investigating a fight. An Alameda County judge signed an arrest warrant alleging murder, and Mehserle surrendered without incident, authorities said.
The shooting, which was recorded by passengers in videos widely circulated on the Internet and television, prompted public outrage, and some viewers said that the shooting appeared to be an execution.
Sources said Mehserle was in Nevada because he feared for his safety after death threats were made against him. Douglas County is 15 miles south of Carson City in northwestern Nevada and includes part of Lake Tahoe.
Mehserle's attorney, Christopher W. Miller of Sacramento, confirmed early today that his client was arrested on suspicion of murder. He said he would not comment further until a news conference today.
Alameda County District Attorney Tom Orloff was expected to announce details of the arrest today. He could not be reached late Tuesday.
Authorities have been under immense pressure to take action in the case. On Tuesday, BART board President Thomas Blalock and board Director Carole Ward Allen sent a letter to Orloff, urging the district attorney to move expeditiously to complete the investigation and file charges if warranted.
Some Oakland community leaders and civil rights activists said the case is symbolic of larger problems with police officers using excessive force on young black men. Grant was black and Mehserle is white.
The arrest came on the eve of a protest scheduled for 4 p.m. today outside Oakland City Hall, the latest in a series of demonstrations in which BART has been accused of mishandling the investigation.
BART police on Monday turned over the results of their preliminary investigation to Orloff's office. A separate investigation by Oakland police was launched last week, and Mehserle's arrest was related to that probe, sources said. The state attorney general is also monitoring the case.
BART officers had detained Grant and several other passengers at about 2 a.m. Jan. 1 as they investigated a fight aboard a train from San Francisco. Passengers with cellular phone cameras captured footage that shows Grant lying facedown when he was shot.
In the videos, Mehserle appears to be trying to put cuffs on Grant, and Grant appears to be struggling, when Mehserle suddenly pulls his service weapon from his holster and fires one shot into Grant's back.
Mehserle declined to speak to BART criminal investigators after the shooting. Then last Wednesday he resigned rather than answer questions from BART's internal affairs division.
His departure came the same day Grant was buried and a peaceful protest at the Fruitvale BART Station erupted into violence in downtown Oakland. Demonstrators set cars on fire and broke windows at dozens of businesses. By night's end, police had arrested 105 people.
Grant's family has filed a $25 million legal claim against BART, signaling an intention to sue for damages. The family's attorney, John Burris, said late Tuesday that he was pleased to hear of Mehserle's arrest.
"If it's true, the family is delighted, and it will really help with the healing process," Burris said. "This is also very important for the community. This had to occur; it was almost a no- brainer. I think the district attorney ought to be commended for moving (the case) expeditiously." (1)
Chronicle staff writers Jaxon Van Derbeken, Andrew Ross and Christopher Heredia contributed to this report. E-mail the writers at dbulwa@sfchronicle.com, lfulbright@sfchronicle.com and hlee@sfchronicle.com"
This article appeared on page A - 1 of the San Francisco Chronicle
AND: BART looks at service cuts, boosting fares and lot fees that were delayed due to the murder of Mr. Grant, and the undesirable press coverage of it over the last fourteen days.
"BART officials, faced with a projected budget shortfall of up to $92 million over the next 18 months, warn that service cuts and higher fares may be imposed later this year to balance the budget.
Commuters also may pay more for parking at station lots and see their trains wrapped in advertising, in effect turning them into moving billboards.
"We're exploring everything," said Carter Mau, executive manager of planning and budget for BART.
Confronted with falling fare and sales tax revenue, as well as anticipated funding cuts from the state, the nation's economic crisis has caught up to BART, the regional rail operation with an average weekday ridership of 348,000.
BART administrators had floated the idea of moving forward quickly with a plan to reduce the frequency of service at half the stations on nights and weekends, running the trains every 20 minutes instead of every 15.
But the idea was put on hold after the BART Board of Directors delayed the scheduled budget session to deal with the fallout from the fatal New Year's Day shooting of an unarmed man by a BART police officer, agency spokesman Linton Johnson said Tuesday." (2)
BART must undergo a full and complete public audit by the State of California, before any more money can be summarily given to this star-crossed agency. The management of BART also needs to undergo a serious investigation from top to bottom that focuses on everything from management practices to law enforcement procedures; because the travesty that BART has become to the citizens of Northern California is an obscenity. This is necessary because BART has refused all requests to open their books to the public that is being asked to give them even more money!
The hostile inaction of so many "officials, both inside and outside of BART, surrounding this execution of an unarmed and unresisting citizen must be answered for in public and on the record: before any thought of "more money" can even be remotely considered.
BART has treated the public that rides its rails with utter contempt for decades. Since 911 the rest rooms in the underground stations have remained closed to the public, and all the trash cans in those stations have been removed (a national security precaution). Tickets for senior riders have been restricted, and are only sold in two places during working hours five days a week in the City of San Francisco; which is a city of a half-million people with a huge senior population. BART's ticket prices and their so-called schedules have been fraught with miscalculations and failures on a routine basis ­ with no complaint department to handle any of the public's problems with their rates or their service.
The public was told that BART was a transportation necessity in the Bay Area when they were raising the money to build it: but once they began their "service" the public was told that they are in reality only a commuter service, to facilitate the movement of workers to their jobs, and that BART is not a public transportation agency that has any responsibility to move people around within the nine counties of the Bay Area, when those riders are not going to work. This part of their arrogance is what makes their demands for ever-more money intolerable.
And of course now that this execution has occurred, it would seem mandatory that everything associated with BART and all its practices be thoroughly and publicly INVESTIGATED.
1) BART officer Arrested
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2009/01/13/ BAM615A08A.DTL&tsp=1
2) BART looks at service cuts, boosting fares and lot fees
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2009/01/14/ BAPQ159J6Q.DTL&hw=BART+looks+at+service+cuts+boosting+fares+lot +fees&sn=001&sc=1000
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