Statement from BART General Manager about man cited for eating on the platform

11.11.19

Statement from BART General Manager about man cited for eating on the platform

 

BART General Manager Bob Powers issued the following statement:

"Moving 415,000 riders each day comes with complexities and there are laws in place to keep our system safe, welcoming, and clean. 

I’ve seen the video of the incident involving a man eating on our platform and our police response.  Eating in the paid area is banned and there are multiple signs inside every station saying as much.  As a transportation system our concern with eating is related to the cleanliness of our stations and system. This was not the case in the incident at Pleasant Hill station on Monday. 

The officer asked the rider not to eat while he was on the platfrom responding to another call.  It should have ended there, but it didn’t.  Mr. Foster did not stop eating and the officer moved forward with the process of issuing him a citation.* The individual refused to provide identification, cursed at and made homophobic slurs at the officer who remained calm through out the entire engagement. 

The officer was doing his job but context is key. Enforcement of infractions such as eating and drinking inside our paid area should not be used to prevent us from delivering on our mission to provide safe, reliable, and clean transportation. We have to read each situation and allow people to get where they are going on time and safely. 

I’m disappointed how the situation unfolded.  I apologize to Mr. Foster, our riders, employees, and the public who have had an emotional reaction to the video.

I’ve spoken to our interim Police Chief about my feelings related to this incident and our Independent Police Auditor is conducting an independent investigation.  He will report his findings to our Citizen Review Board." 


*This statement was amended at 4pm on November 11 to remove the part about the officer passing by and walking by again. The officer involved clarified to staff he didn't walk by because the platform was too crowded.  The statement originally stated: "The officer asked the rider not to eat while passing by on another call.  It should have ended there, but it didn’t. When the officer walked by again and still saw him eating, he moved forward with the process of issuing him a citation." The statement was updated to read: The officer asked the rider not to eat while he was on the platfrom responding to another call.  It should have ended there, but it didn’t.  Mr. Foster did not stop eating and the officer moved forward with the process of issuing him a citation.