July 5 news conference on officer involved shooting at Civic Center Station


July 5 news conference on officer involved shooting at Civic Center Station

Transcript of news conference:

(Deputy Chief Daniel Hartwig speaking)
Good morning.
At this time San Francisco PD, BART PD, San Francisco DA's office as well as the coroner are working together to identify the suspect at this time is has yet to occur. The investigation is moving forward we continue to ask, if anybody has any information, was at the scene that evening, contact BART police at the 510 464-7040 phone number. We continue to interview people that were at the scene that night at this point in time any new leads that may be out there haven't changed greatly from yesterday. The only thing I can tell you is the officers involved are on administrative leave and will remain in that position while we continue with the investigation.

REPORTER
Deputy Chief, can you talk about the surveillance tape which we understand shows part of the incident, what does it tell you about the way the incident occurred?

HARTWIG
I can tell you there is a surveillance tape that has a partial view of what actually occurred, what they're trying to determine through the investigation is exactly what that reveals, that is part of the investigation, the good news is we have that it's from the platform at the location it will be a strong tool in the investigation.

REPORTER
Does it indicate any sort of actions or-- the beginning of the confrontation or the tail end of it or...

HARTWIG
I haven't seen it myself what I would tell really would be third hand. There is investigative leads specifically in that video.

REPORTER
Can you talk about how this investigation maybe is being handled in any substantively different way from to the oscar grant, because of what maybe the agency has learned since then?

HARTWIG
Our policies and procedures since that date and time have been totally reviewed and updated rewritten and posted. How we respond, how we react as a police department is crystal clear to everybody at this agency. The good news is that we have a strong relationship with the San Francisco PD and the other PD's throughout our agency that we work with. San Francisco PD was at the scene almost immediately, basically had the scene cordoned off and protected for us prior to our detectives arrival. So, how we respond and how we step forward and provide information is probably a little bit different-- a little clearer we hope. As we get information we will provide it for you.

REPORTER
How do you mean by that SFPD was there, does that mean they were watching you, what does that mean?

HARTWIG
No. They responded to a call for assistance. Shot's fired, a deadly weapon, a deadly force situation gets the attention of any agency. They are street side, I believe that night they were actually in force up on the street side and we had two or three officers, two originally at the scene, followed by two more that were followed by a large contingency of San Francisco PD.

REPORTER
So your saying you've reviewed and updated your policies after the Oscar Grant incident, how is it different this time after the shooting, after the (inaudible) than it was after Oscar Grant had died?

HARTWIG
The positions and requirements of the officers, supervisors involved in a deadly force situation are crystal clear now. There's not any grey area because these policies and procedures have been reviewed and updated and rewritten with the last 18 months. I think that when these calls come out now there's not any question about who's responsible for what and who's supposed to respond at any specific location. Again, we were there, we responded once we received the call a deadly force call at any police agency will attract the response of an outside agency as well.

REPORTER
And that was the case two and a half years ago or is that something new that the municipal police agency comes as a matter of fact now that wasn't so clear before?

HARTWIG
So it happens in one of two ways. Police scan each other's activities. So, SFPD is going to hear what's going on with BART, BART's going to hear at SF. Specifically, Sunday evening, how they heard about it, whether it was our dispatcher called, or whether they copied it on a scanner I don't know, what's different in the past-- what's different now is we don't hesitate to call for resources of available. We want to utilize every expert in the field in the area. The good thing about San Francisco is San Francisco understands San Francisco, we understand BART, it's a good team.

REPORTER
Deputy Chief, can you talk about the taser issue as well, my understanding from yesterday is that one officer had a taser. Have you been able to determine what may have prevented him from choosing the taser as the first line of defense or...

HARTWIG
We're specifically relying on the investigation, but again, any deadly force situation-- a taser is a tool of availability. The officer is going to make split second decisions regarding how to respond with deadly force. Our investigation will reveal why he chose to use his weapon.

REPORTER
Can you clarify, your were saying one taser had-- one of the two officers had a taser, but the second one did not?

HARTWIG
One of the two original officers at the scene were equipped with a taser, correct.

REPORTER
And I know that there's a new policy that all police officers are going to be trained and what also be carrying--

HARTWIG
The officers have been trained as of the target date to have mandatory carry for the agency is July 11th.

REPORTER
And then will all officers be carrying tasers?

HARTWIG
It will be a mandatory carry at that point.

REPORTER
And can you clarify which officer was the one that was cut, was it the one with 6 years or 18 years of experience was it the one who used... the gun or who did not use the gun?

HARTWIG
I don't have that information.

REPORTER
What can you tell us about each officer, their back ground even if it that's sort of repeating things from prior news-- just to kind of summarize for us who the two officers are a little bit about their background and what you do know about the man they shot?

HARTWIG
The two officers involved, one is a six year veteran, one is a 14 month veteran. Both specifically with BART police time, no negative history at this agency, productive, working police officers. The suspect, other than the fact that the general age that we're trying to guess and what he was wearing is all we have at this point in time.

REPORTER
What is the age you're guessing at this point?

HARTWIG
I believe they're stating between 35 and 50.

REPORTER
Some people were questioning that the incident shooting, the fatal shooting happened within a minute of responding to the scene what do you make of that?

HARTWIG
That's the split second decisions that I spoke of earlier. In these scenarios its a minute in time, it may seem like 5 minutes for an officer... decisions have to be made and they have to be made quickly. And when you have a decision to make to utilize deadly force there's not a timeframe to do it, if it has to be done it's made and it's done.

REPORTER
Can you talk about the role of witnesses accounts as well too. The estimation I've heard is that it's varied between 30 and 40 people perhaps down on that platform. Any sense of how many folks were down there and have they been helpful?

HARTWIG
I haven't been told the specific number, I have been told that there are credible witnesses that have been very helpful. The information that we are receiving is the officers confronted an aggressive, combative suspect who was not complying with the officers direction. The investigation will continue to reveal ultimately what led up to the shooting.

REPORTER
For the SFPD to do the criminal side of the investigation, is that protocol, or were they asked as a courtesy in this particular case to do it?

HARTWIG
The protocol has been adjusted and changed throughout the years with BART PD and San Francisco PD and it's currently in that status where it's being tweaked. We have an outstanding relationship with the San Francisco Police Department, they were there in a moment's notice willing to provide us with anything and everything that we needed that evening which was inclusive of an ID team, technicians, police officers, anything that was needed they were there with. We are working hand in hand with the San Francisco PD. We have a written agreement like I said that is in the process of being updated, that process is reflective of a change in the SFPD's staffing and the final signature on that agreement.

REPORTER
So, in this case did you ask them to do this--

HARTWIG
We actually did not, again whether it was through a police scanner or our dispatch they were on the scene fairly quickly after we were. The DA's office was there very quickly. These resources were in place within the first 20 minutes.

REPORTER
Who made the decision to have SFPD handle the--

HARTWIG
Again, when you have a deadly weapon situation the SFPD is responding, they're not waiting to get command staff, "should we go help?" they come. They immediately arrived there and assisted the BART officers to contain the crime scene and to provide further resources that followed soon afterwords.

REPORTER
Can you tell us how many shots were fired?

HARTWIG
I don't know how many shots were fired, I'm only going on the investigative information at this time and that is that 3 cases were recovered at the scene.

REPORTER
Are you guys aware of any cell phone videos or any other type of video?

HARTWIG
We are not. The night of the incident and I'll repeat myself now, we would request for anybody with any video information or any information at all involving this to please contact the BART Police.

REPORTER
Has the coroner's office identified the body at this point?

HARTWIG
That has not yet occurred.

REPORTER
And to clarify, one of the two officers fired shots, not both. Right? one of the officers--

HARTWIG
The investigation hasn't completed as to if both officers were involved if it was one officer who was involved to my knowledge.

REPORTER
Okay that's not clear. So it's not clear-- okay then it's not clear if it was the veteran or the less experienced or both--

HARTWIG
We do not have that information yet.

REPORTER
Can you tell us-- I understand a bottle and a knife, can you tell us the incident again, I mean was the knife at any point used, can you go back and tell us--

HARTWIG
What we know at this point ti the officers confronted an aggressive suspect that was holding a bottle and a knife, after the shots were fired there was broken glass on the platform level a knife was recovered on the platform level. That's all we know at this point in time, again the witnesses at the scene-- the investigation will tie those pieces together.

REPORTER
Do you know how big the knife was?

HARTWIG
Excuse me?

REPORTER
How big was the knife?

HARTWIG
I do not know.

REPORTER
Is it clear if the suspect was threatening passengers or posing an immediate danger?

HARTWIG
That hasn't, I haven't received that information, but again, in a deadly force situation, there has to be imminent danger to either a passenger-- a patron, a citizen or an officer at the scene. That's part of the deadly force decision.

REPORTER
But we don't know in this case yet what the deadly force was directed at?

HARTWIG
Correct.

REPORTER
Were the officers in the Oscar Grant case there was some concern about the initial stages-- the officer not making an immediate statement to internal affairs... not being forced to the officer s force that night to make a statement to bart

HARTWIG
In the investigating the officers were immediately removed from the scene and taken to the San Francisco Police Department and were isolated at the Police Department and spoke to-- with detectives from both agencies at that location. How the information was delivered will be part of the investigation. The arrival of Chief Kenton Rainey, the renewal the update of policies and procedures are inclusive of police officers rights in a deadly force situation. Our agency as well as the San Francisco PD works with the officers to gain compliance to reveal what actually occurred at the scene. At this point in time we have a very agreeable group of people involved providing information.

REPORTER
The officer status at this time, paid administrative leave which means, what sort of work are they doing or what--

HARTWIG
They are not on the property at this time nor are they in uniform, they are off duty in a paid status pending the completion of this investigation.

REPORTER
Have the officers been involved in this type of incident before?

HARTWIG
Not to my knowledge.

HARTWIG
In our 40 year history on BART properties this is the sixth officer involved shooting that we've dealt with. Our goal is to never deal with another one.

Thank you.