Home » BART Police Shooting

Empty liquor bottles, police killing mark start of New Year

By California Beat January 3, 2009 3 Comments Print Share

By Tim Jue / Beat Staff Writer

Hundreds of thousands of New Year’s revelers flocked to celebration sites around the Bay Area on New Year’s Eve to bid adieu to a dismal 2008 and welcome what everyone hopes will be a much better 2009. At the region’s largest celebration along the Embarcadero in San Francisco, celebrants were treated to a fireworks show that, at times, was subdued because of a low-lying fog ceiling that threatened to obscure the pyrotechnics.

But — fog or no fog — a mostly orderly crowd kept the energy level high. The event was proclaimed as the city’s official New Year’s celebration. Organizers said that there would be no alcohol and public drunkeness would not be tolerated. San Francisco Police were out in force Wednesday evening with full patrols along the Embarcadero and clusters of cops positioned all along Justin Herman Plaza.

But a California Beat observation noted thousands of empty alcohol bottles and containers littering many parts of the area. As crowds dissapated after the fireworks, they were stepping on empty booze bottles and kicking them all around the street. The pungent odor of marijuana was prevalent and public drunkeness was ripe.

Across the bay in Oakland, violence erupted after one man was killed by BART Police officers who opened fire on him at the Fruitvale BART station at around 2:15 a.m. as revelers were returning from the city’s fireworks celebration and other events around the bay.

Witnesses said that Hayward resident Oscar Grant, 22, was cuffed and detained on the ground when a BART Police officer fired a single shot that mortally wounded the man. The transit agency refuted the accounts, saying that Grant was not in cuffs when he was shot.

Still, no weapon was found on him. He was transported to Highland Hospital in Oakland where he died.

KTVU, the FOX television station in Oakland, reported that BART Police officers confiscated numerous video capturing devices from the victim’s friends that contained footage of the shooting incident.

A BART spokesperson said that video surveillance cameras set up in the rail station had no video recording capabilities and could only be viewed in real time.


  • Concerned citizen said:

    BART Police Officer murders a man, the video doesn’t lie. Oscar Grant is just simple proof that police are out of control and can kill at will. Thank god for camera phones.

  • JoeEngineer said:

    The officers who stole the camera phones need to be arrested and charged with cover up and larceny.

  • SimmonSummers said:

    If this happened 15 years ago those cops would have placed a gun in the hand of the victim and drugs in his pocket.

    BART Police Chief Gary Gee said it was an “accident.” What part of this assassination was an accident?
    Deciding the use of a gun was necessary when the suspect was face down on the ground?
    Reaching for the gun?
    Unbuckling the gun from the holster?
    Pulling the gun from the holster?
    Inactivating the safety mechanism on the gun?
    Pointing the gun at the back of the victim?
    Pulling the trigger?

    That’s like saying someone accidentally took a shower.

    This is what happens when you give power to the weakest members of society; those with a low I.Q. and unresolved childhood issues of control. Instead of therapy they are given a gun and a badge to hide behind. Considering the educational requirements to be a cop is a GED -Good Enough Degree- maybe we shouldn’t be surprised, caveat emptor. Not to mention this rookie cop was on the job for 2 years. So what you have is an angry 20-something-year-old uneducated kid whose been empowered with a gun and hides behind a badge and is now working through is mental problems one bullet at a time.

    The only thing left is the cover up and if the past is any indication of the future they will do an excellent job at hiding the truth.

    God bless the police for they are not just above the law, they are the law.