BART Summoned to Sacramento

Leaders of the transit agency are ushered into the Capitol hot seat

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    NEWSLETTERS

    The State Capitol building in Sacramento.

    BART officials were called to Sacramento Tuesday to answer some tough questions about a number of issues concerning the transit agency that have been in the news lately.

    The specific subjects at hand were the status of reforms in the BART police department.

    On July 3, a BART police officer shot and killed Charles Hill. BART officers said they had no choice because Hill, a homeless man with mental issues, was threatening them with a knife.

    Protests that followed that officer-involved-shooting caused an entirely new set of issues for BART when it decided to shut down cell phone service during one of the protests against Hill's shooting.

    BART Police Chief Kenton Rainey answered questions for more than an hour about how his officers are trained.

    Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, D-San Francisco, presided over the hearing that focused on BART training, policies and procedures.

     At one point he called BART's Board of Directors "negligent." He also criticized BART's police response to the recent protests.

    The hearing lasted two hours and included testimony from Oscar Grant's uncle who has been a vocal critic of BART police ever since Grant's death on Jan. 1, 2009.