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Family Arrives in SF to Confront BART Police
by SF IMC and Samantha Liapes
Tuesday Jul 17th, 2001 1:56 PM
BART police killed an unarmed and naked man. Today, the family flew to San Francisco to confront the police and demand an independent investigation.
Family of Man killed by BART Police Come to Bay Area to Demand Independent Investigation, Mother and Brother Fly in From Illinois to Demand Information, File Law Suit

Family members of Bruce Seward, a 42-year-old African American man who was killed by a BART police officer on May 28th, came to the Bay Area today from Danville, IL to demand information and meet with local police misconduct attorneys. Bruce's mother and brother spoke publicly at the Powell BART station. It has been over six weeks and the family has yet to receive a death certificate. BART officials have refused the family's request for a meeting.

"Bruce was a good man, working full-time, no problems with the law," said Ora Seward, the victim's mother. "There must have been some other way of dealing with the situation than killing my son."

Bay Area PoliceWatch, a local watchdog group working with the family, has expressed concern over the way the police responded to what was clearly a mental health crisis situation. The BART Police Department currently does not have a crisis intervention training program despite the prevalence of police interactions with people in mental distress.

"We are very troubled by what appears to be yet another example of unwarranted deadly force in a situation where someone was obviously in mental distress," said Samantha Liapes, Bay Area PoliceWatch Director. "The fact that the man was naked and clearly not carrying any life-threatening weapon makes the use of deadly force by the officer even more troubling."

The victim's brother, Michael Seward, a law enforcement agent in Illinois, has expressed concern over what he believes to be an unjustified use of deadly force by the officer and an inadequate response from the department.

"If the BART Police Department has nothing to hide, why has it been over 6 weeks and we don't even have a death certificate? Why haven't we heard from the civilian witnesses?" said Mr. Seward. "My brother did not have to die and I want answers, answers I can only get from an independent investigation."

Bruce Seward, a 42 year old car salesman with no criminal record, was shot and killed by a BART Police Officer at the Hayward BART station on Monday, May 28th.

Bay Area PoliceWatch can be reached at 415-951-4844x24