More information has come to light about this weekend’s BART shooting, but not from the BART or San Francisco police departments. Molly Hollero, whose 9:45 p.m. arrival at the Civic Center station made her a witness to the killing, says that the BART officers should “absolutely not” have shot the recently identified Charles Blair Hill.
While Hill was noticeably intoxicated Sunday night, Hollero says the 45-year-old man wearing a tie-dyed shirt and military fatigues was “definitely not running or lunging” towards the officers. She described him as moving like Frankenstein and though she didn’t see a knife, she told the The Bay Citizen that “He was definitely a Taser cadidate.” As previously reported, one officer was carrying a Taser but never reached for it.
Despite holding two press conferences about the killing, BART has yet to explain why the two officers, who are currently on paid leave, chose to shoot Hill, rather than pursuing another course of action.
“BART should be as transparent as possible in this process,” said Michael Risher, Staff Attorney for the ACLU of Northern California. “Right now it’s inappropriate for anyone to say that they know exactly what has happened, but I hope that BART will immediately release they names of the police officers involved.” BART has announced it will release security footage of the incident once they’ve completed interviews with all 40 witnesses. “It may well be that the tape provides an accurate objective record of what happened, but of course you don’t want the memories of the witnesses to be influenced,” said Risher, “but [the interviews] should take a matter of days, not weeks or months. I hope the public knows what happened as soon as possible.”
A recently released recording of the radio transmission between a BART employee and BART police dispatcher only mentions that “the guy with the tie dye” had an open bottle of alcohol and was “moving around a lot.” The two unidentified officers opened fire within one minute of their arrival, yet there is no evidence that they knew about a knife beforehand.
A group called No Justice, No BART is planning a rally for Monday, Monday at the Civic Center station in San Francisco. According to a Facebook announcement, the protest will demand that “The BART Board of Directors must shut down the corrupt, inept, disgraceful and murderous BART police department” and that both officers involved in the shooting are fired.