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Cops & Courts

[By Steven Luo | 21 Aug 2011 | 6 Comments]

BART’s decision to shut down cell phone service in its downtown San Francisco stations August 11 in order to disrupt a planned protest has drawn howls of outrage from civil libertarians and many riders.

The American Civil Liberties Union called the move “glaringly small-minded” and “dangerous to democracy.” San Francisco mayoral candidates Phil Ting and Leland Yee were among those who joined the chorus of condemnation.

But was the move actually unconstitutional, as many say it is? Probably not, according to California Beat legal analyst Preston Thomas.

[By Beat News Service | 17 Aug 2011 | 3 Comments]

The international group of hackers known as “Anonymous” continued to target the Bay Area Rapid Transit District Wednesday, hacking the agency’s Police Officers Association website and leaking the names, addresses and contact information for 102 BART police officers.

The leaked information included e-mail addresses and passwords for the affected transit police officers, according to a list posted online this morning. The leak was the second such hack of a BART-related website and unauthorized release of personal information in the past week.

[By Beat News Service | 15 Aug 2011 | No Comments]
Courtesy Image

A peaceful crowd of demonstrators disrupted the evening commute Monday, leading police through Downtown San Francisco and leading to the roving closures of all four underground BART and MUNI Metro Stations at the height of commute hour.

Thousands of transit patrons experienced delays of hours after a planned 5 p.m. protest at the Civic Center BART Station spilled out to other stations on Market Street, causing closures that lasted upwards of 90 minutes.

[By Beat News Service | 14 Aug 2011 | No Comments]
A screen grab of the myBART.org website depicts the Anonymous logos left behind after the hack. (Beat Photo)

An international group of hackers carried out an attack against the Bay Area Rapid Transit District’s online infrastructure Sunday, leaking thousand of user names, addresses, phone numbers and log-in passwords belonging to subscribers of the website myBART.org.

Hackers claiming to be affiliated with the organization “Anonymous” infiltrated the website Sunday morning, replacing images with their main calling card — the mask worn by the main character in the film “V for Vendetta.” The hackers also rewrote text on the website, calling attention to their protest against the transit agency’s controversial decision to sever mobile phone access to prevent a planned protest last week.

[By Beat News Service | 13 Aug 2011 | 5 Comments]
Courtesy Image

(8/14) — 1041 PDT UPDATE — An online group of international hackers said Saturday they would hold a protest against the Bay Area Rapid Transit District’s recent decision to temporarily cut underground subway communications to prevent demonstrators from disrupting train service.

An updated posting from the group made public Saturday night threatened to “remove from the internet the web site of BART located at www.bart.gov for exactly six hours” beginning at 12 p.m. Pacific Time on Sunday. The international hacking group also said it would flood the agency’s e-mail inboxes and fax machines to express their dissatisfaction with the decision to suspend mobile voice and wireless communications last Thursday to rail passengers in the San Francisco subway.

[By Beat News Service | 12 Aug 2011 | No Comments]

Bay Area Rapid Transit District officials found themselves defending a decision to temporarily disable underground wireless communications to mobile phone users in the Downtown San Francisco subway Thursday afternoon to heed off potential protests organized by anti-BART Police groups angry over the fatal officer-involved shooting of a transient at the Civic Center Station.

Civil liberties groups, advocates for free speech, and BART riders likened the maneuver to tactics used by Middle Eastern dictators like Hosni Mubarak, who attempted to stifle citizen uprisings earlier this year by cutting off access to voice, text and internet communications. 

[By Beat News Service | 8 Aug 2011 | No Comments]

A three year-old boy was shot and killed in East Oakland Monday afternoon, an innocent victim of a drive-by shooting that wounded two other men at International Blvd. and 64th Street, police said.

The infant was struck by the gunfire at 1:15 p.m., according to Oakland Police spokesperson Officer Holly Joshi. He was rushed to Children’s Hospital where he succumbed to his wounds shortly after arrival, authorities said.

[By Beat News Service | 27 Jul 2011 | No Comments]
"Jeopardy" host Alex Trebek. (Courtesy Photo)

“Jeopardy” show host Alex Trebek was injured Wednesday morning after he chased after a woman who tried to burglarize his Downtown San Francisco hotel room.

Trebek, who was in the Bay Area to host the National Geographic World Championship event at Google’s Mountain View campus, told reporters that he ruptured his Achilles tendon and fell on the hotel room floor while chasing the burglar. Trebek said he injured his other leg during the fall.

[By Beat News Service | 21 Jul 2011 | No Comments]
Charles Hill. Courtesy DMV

BART Police released platform surveillance video partially showing the fatal July 3 officer-involved shooting of a 45 year-old transient at the Civic Center Station in San Francisco.

Charles Hill was shot and killed after a confrontation with two transit police officers on the station platform when he allegedly brandished a knife. Authorities displayed photographs of knives they said were found in Hill’s possession.

[By Beat News Service | 21 Jul 2011 | No Comments]
Kenneth Harding. Courtesy Washington State Department of Corrections

The San Francisco Medical Examiner’s office revealed Thursday the Seattle man believed to have been shot and killed by two police officers in the Bayview District over the weekend likely died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

An autopsy concluded that the bullet lodged in the skull of Kenneth Harding Jr., 19, was fired from a gun that was not issued to the police officers who confronted the Washington State parolee during a MUNI Metro fare inspection Saturday afternoon.