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Indybay FeatureRelated Categories: East Bay | Racial Justice
No Justice No BART Reaches Out to Public at MacArthur Station, Oakland, 4/2/09: photos
On April 2nd at the MacArthur BART station, No Justice No BART defied the intimidation of two dozen riot police and metal barricades yet again and distributed fliers with campaign objectives to over 1000 commuters coming and going during rush hour. Many riders expressed support during discussions with demonstrators. Some even joined the rally to express their dissatisfaction with BART and its handling of the murder of Oscar Grant. To this date there has been no accountability demanded by BART of any of the officers present when Oscar Grant was murdered, Police Chief Gary Gee, or Board Director Dorothy Dugger who oversees BART police. All remain in the gainful employ of BART (except for Mehserle who resigned) and no one has been disciplined in any way for their actions or lack thereof. Committed for the long haul until justice is done, NJNB is currently making plans for their next steps.
NJNB's first action at the Fruitvale Station, 3/5/09: http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2009/03/08/18575598.php
NJNB at Rockridge Station, 3/19/08: http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2009/03/23/18581464.php
No Justice No Bart is currently working on plans for a weekend demonstration at another BART station. Additionally, they intend to diversify targets and tactics in their ongoing campaign for justice for Oscar Grant.
Kristian Williams recently spoke in Oakland on related topics:
BART police officer Fred Crabtree shot Jerrold Hall, who was unarmed, in the back of his head with a shotgun at the Hayward station in 1992:
BART police officer David Betancourt killed a naked Bruce Edward Seward at the Hayward station in 2001:
BART has been caught lying about these murders and no one was ever held to account.
For a flashback on the cover-up of the murder of Oscar Grant, here's what BART was reporting to the media on January first, before video of the actual murder surfaced: "A young man allegedly involved in a fight aboard a BART train was shot to death by a BART police officer on the platform of the Fruitvale Station early New Year's Day, in the midst of a brawl.... BART spokesman Jim Allison said the victim was not restrained when the gun discharged." Note that it was in the "midst" of a brawl, they said, that Oscar Grant was not restrained when he was shot (in the back), and that the gun innocently "discharged." Once the video went public, Chief Gee had the gall to say that he found the footage to be inconclusive and that the public should just be patient while they investigated. Despite the fact that BART had video footage of Tony Pirone striking Grant just minutes before he was shot, BART did not initiate any investigation into Pirone's actions until after that footage was aired on TV three weeks later. Director Dorothy Dugger then remarked that it was a "new allegation of unreasonable force."
Now BART has one supposed investigation into the officers on the platform that night (none of whom called for medical assistance or even reported a shooting after Grant was shot) and another looking into if BART even needs a police force, but these "investigations" are being conducted by people BART itself chose without public input. Knowing even a glimmer of BART history, there is little reason to expect anything more than whitewash and self-justification from these investigations without sustained public pressure.
A former BART employee talks about BART's long time racial profiling here:
Stay tuned for No Justice No BART's next move...