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First Public BART Meeting on Police Oversight, 5/2/09: audio
After months of pressure, BART held its first public meeting on police oversight on Saturday, May 2nd in Oakland. Several Bay Area models for police oversight were presented by representatives of the San Francisco Police Commission and Office of Citizens' Complaints, the Richmond Confidential Investigative and Appeals Office, the Sacramento Office of Public Safety Accountability, the Oakland Citizen's Review Board, the Berkeley Police Review Commission, and the ACLU of Northern California. Also present were members of NOBLE (National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives) who discussed the general review of BART's police force they were recently hired to conduct over the next four months. The second part of the meeting was reserved for public questions and comments on potential police review models.
The audio from the meeting here is incomplete and mostly covers the presentations on various police oversight models. At about 1 hour and 30 minutes into the audio, Wanda Johnson, mother of Oscar Grant III, asks several questions and confronts BART on their lack of police training since her son was murdered by BART police officer Johannes Mehserle on January 1st. BART General Manager Dorothy Dugger makes a surprising comment in response when she admits that as General Manager she not an expert on a number of issues critical to BART operations, elaborating that she relies on BART's engineering experts and so forth as she manages BART's operations. Why she is paid over $300,000/yr and how then she is supposed to effectively manage the BART police force remains unknown. If she historically has relied simply on the "expert" opinion of BART Police Chief Gary Gee in evaluating the actions of the Chief and the BART police force was not made clear. Also heard here before the audio cuts off is the beginning of Minister Keith Muhammad's comments regarding BART's police oversight.
Gaps in the time-line of meeting are indicated by five seconds of silence in the audio posted here.
BART has posted complete video of the May 2nd public meeting in three parts:
Part 1 - http://www.bart.gov/news/barttv/?&cat=27&id=535
Part 2 - http://www.bart.gov/news/barttv/?&cat=27&id=536
Part 3 - http://www.bart.gov/news/barttv/?&cat=27&id=537
For more information and documents related to this meeting see: