Protesters Shut Down BART Stations

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Demonstrators want action after another deadly shooting on BART. They took over the Civic Center platform during rush-hour to make sure their demands were heard. NBC Bay Area?s Jean Elle reports.

    Close to 100 protesters gathered before the start of the evening commute for a demonstration at the Civic Center BART station in San Francisco.

    Some protesters jumped onto a train, preventing it from moving briefly. The train is now moving, but BART temporarily suspended service at that station because of the disruption. San Francisco Municipal Railway service at the Civic Center station was also suspended.

    Video: Protesters Stop BART Train

    [BAY] Video: Protesters Stop BART Train
    Protesters jump onto a BART train at the Civic Center station in San Francisco on July 11, 2011.

    The 16th Street station was also closed after protesters moved there.

    The group No Justice, No BART said it is demanding that the BART Police Department be disbanded, and that both of the two officers involved in the July 3 shooting of 45-year-old Charles Hill be fired and criminally charged if it is found that the shooting was not justified.

    Raw Video: BART Protest Explains Tactics

    [BAY] Raw Video: BART Protest Explains Tactics
    BART said they broke the law and risk workers and riders lives. Protesters say they had no choice.

    Today's protest was scheduled for 4:30 p.m. on the platform of the Civic Center station. About 70 to 80 people had gathered at the station by 4:45 p.m., and BART safety officers in green vests had a notable presence on the train platform.

    Some BART police in riot gear were also monitoring the situation and had non-lethal weapons ready.

    By 5:15 p.m. the crowd had thickened and began chanting "No justice, no peace, disband the BART police" and "Cops, pigs, murderers."

    Once one East Bay-bound train inched into the station, some protesters boarded the train and began banging on the train's windows. After about 10 minutes, safety officers and police were able to close the train's doors and the train departed the station.

    Shortly afterward, at about 5:20 p.m., the station's LED message boards displayed messages informing passengers that no trains would be stopping at Civic Center station.

    By 5:30 p.m., Muni announced that its service had also been suspended at the station.

    BART spokesman Linton Johnson said such a protest would be illegal.

    "Disruptive protests like this planned on small platforms with fast moving trains and large crowds are against the law because they put ... riders, BART workers, journalists and protesters at serious risk of injury or death," he said.

    Hill was wielding a knife and a broken alcohol bottle before BART police shot him on the train platform, Johnson said.

    BART police said Hill was aggressive and combative and did not comply with orders. One of the officers suffered minor cuts during the confrontation, BART officials said.

    A Facebook page has been set up for this afternoon's rally, and as of this morning, more than 370 people had indicated they would attendNo Justice, No BART was formed in response to the New Year's Day 2009 shooting of Oscar Grant III.

    Grant, a 22-year-old Hayward resident who was unarmed, was shot and killed by then-BART police Officer Johannes Mehserle at the Fruitvale station in Oakland.

    Bay City News contributed to this report.