It seems we’ve already established that BART is not always the safest place to be, and that the BART police have, in at least a few instances, been part of that problem.

In the latest instance of questionable behavior, a man was Tased at the Downtown Berkeley BART station after allegedly failing to pay his fare. An officer said he saw the man, a one Jason Johnson, exit without paying the toll. He then pursued Johnson, ordering him to stop and then tasing him in the back when he did not comply. This has raised a few eyebrows within the BART administration and elsewhere.

Not only that, Taser privileges were returned to BART cops a mere two weeks ago after an incident in Richmond a two months prior when a BART cop reached out of his cruiser to stun a 13-year-old boy. The officers have since gone through “re-training” as to how to use the weapons… and then this happened.

We would think that incidents like the shooting death of Oscar Grant last year would have BART police a little more on their toes about when and why they use force, and we can’t help but see Tasing someone over a fare of something in the neighborhood of $2-$9 dollars as a little overzealous. But SF Appeal’s account of the incident includes an allegation that Johnson had a “large threatening object” in his pocket and assumed an “aggressive fighting stance” when the officer attempted to stop him, so we’ll reserve judgment for now.

But the moral of the story: pay your BART fare, kids. Or you’ll be sorry.

Image Source: PicturePurrfect685 under Creative Commons
BART under fire for Taser incident [Mercury News]

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Mar 22, 2012 at 11:01 pm

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Izaak Dąbrowski said:
Mar 23, 2012 at 1:17 am