Ammiano, Yee take on BART police

By Tim Redmond

There’s action on the state level to force the BART Board to create some level of civilian oversight for the BART police.

The action comes in the wake of the fatal shooting Jan. 1 of Oscar Grant — an apparent case of gross police misconduct caught on numerous cell-phone videos.

Assemblymember Tom Ammiano and state Sen. Leland Yee are introducing legislation to require some form of civilian oversight for the BART police. The state has every right to do that; the BART police only exist as a force with full peace officer powers because the state Legislature granted BART that authority in 1976.

Yee and Ammiano were responding to the shooting and to a Guardian editorial pointing out the long history of problems with the BART police and calling for civilian oversight.

Sup. David Campos will introduce a similar resolution at the Board of Supervisors soon.

Meanwhile, the BART police are saying they can’t talk to the officer because he’s resigned. That’s such nonsense — the guy is no longer a cop, so Internal Affairs can’t question him, but he is, by any standard, a homicide suspect, and the BART police, Oakland police and Alameda County Sheriff’s office can all seek to question him.

In fact, it’s likely he resigned because his lawyer suspects there might be criminal charges.