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Indybay FeatureRelated Categories: San Francisco | Police State and Prisons
BART CCTV Video of BART Police Killing Charles Hill at Civic Center Station
BART today released video of one of their police officers shooting and killing Charles Hill on the Civic Center station platform in San Francisco on July 3rd, 2011. The video from one of BART's stationary closed-circuit television cameras on the platform shows the two BART officers involved exiting a BART train. One officer walks out of view of the camera, while the other officer is seen pulling his gun and shooting Charles Hill less than 30 seconds after having arrived on the platform. Also seen in the video is what BART is identifying as a knife that Charles Hill allegedly threw in the direction of the as-yet unidentified shooting officer, as it slides across the platform and bounces off a train a moment after shots were fired by the BART officer. Charles Hill is never seen in the video.
BART police chief Kenton Rainey said in a press conference this afternoon that BART is in possession of no other video from the platform that evening -- of BART police, Charles Hill, or anywhere else on the platform -- even though BART has cameras throughout every station. He gave no indication of why that might be. The video provided to the press is obscured to conceal the identity of the BART police, but BART says they intend to release both officers' names as well as a non-obscured version of the video at some point in the future. Both officers were returned to duty after three days of paid leave and a psychological examination.
At the press conference, Rainey would give no indication of the distance between the shooting officer and Charles Hill, nor any information about events not seen in the video, other than to characterize what Charles Hill was allegedly doing when he was shot. Rainey said Charles Hill raised a knife above his head when the officer fired his service weapon. Rainey would not, however, comment on whether Charles Hill was lunging toward officers or moving slowly towards them, as at least one witness reported. Rainey would also not answer questions about commuters out of the view of the camera who may have been in or near the line of fire. There are numerous passengers on the platform seen in the video released today.
Deflating the police "injury" story that BART heavily circulated previously, presumably to heighten the sense of danger the officers faced in the Civic Center station, it is now known through a trusted source that the injury was sustained as a result of a bottle Charles Hill had been holding that broke on the platform (BART police say Hill threw the bottle in the direction of police without having hit them). The injured officer at some unknown point slipped in the spilled liquid on the platform and fell, apparently receiving a minor cut from the broken glass.
For more information, see:
UPDATE: BART releases second video of opposite side of platform from 600 feet away with no time stamp
BART Security Camera Platform 2, July 3, 2011
From: BARTable | Jul 22, 2011 | 218 views
This is security camera video from Civic Center Station Platform 2 immediately before, during and immediately after the officer involved shooting the night of July 3, 2011. Platform 2 is the platform opposite the platform on which the incident occurred.
"Members of the media have asked if there was any other video from BART's platform cameras of the incident or of the platform directly behind suspect Charles Hill," BART Police Chief Kenton Rainey said. "The answer remains no. However, in the interest of transparency, I'm ordering the release of the video from the only other platform camera to record at the time of the incident. The camera that recorded this video is located approximately 600 feet away from the incident and on the opposite platform. We immediately turned this platform video over to the San Francisco Police Department after the incident. BART's Independent Police Auditor also has a copy. At this time this video does not appear to have any evidentiary value."
For more information, go to http://www.bart.gov/news/articles/2011.aspx.