From the Chronicle’s Matier and Ross:
“Hundreds of extra cops – including BART officers, Oakland police, and sheriff’s deputies from San Francisco and Contra Costa County – are being called either to ride BART or patrol its stations into the early morning hours…
The beefed-up presence is in reaction to last year’s fatal shooting of Oscar Grant, an unarmed passenger who was killed by a BART cop while being held facedown on a station platform at 2 a.m. New Year’s Day.”
The cops and the article both frame this as if 1) party-goers were somehow responsible for the shooting of Oscar Grant and 2) more cops would prevent party-goers from causing such things again. First, Oscar Grant was murdered by Johannes Mehserle after being punched and harrassed by several BART police who worked in collusion with one another. One ought to assume that this was not an abberrant way for these cops to handle the situation – it is and remains their standard operating procedure. No party-goer is responsible for the death of Oscar Grant. No amount of unruly or disruptive behavior or “back-talk” (UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCE) warrants (or causes) cold-blooded murder. Those who say otherwise use what I call the “she had it coming” logic. “Sure,” they say “her husband beat her and eventually killed her. But, the dinner was always cold.” That this logic is reprehensible and disgusting should be self-evident. But, even if you believe that the “party atmosphere” somehow set the stage fore Mehserle’s brutal murder of an innocent man, surely it does not follow that therefore there should be more Mehserles out on BART trains!!! In general, I don’t like to be at parties where people have guns (or clubs, or tasers…). My reason: THEY MIGHT USE THEM!
Cops are the problem, not the solution.