BART Under the Microscope


BART officials are promising sweeping changes in how the district's police department operates.
During a special meeting, BART's board of directors said they would develop a plan to make changes in training, procedures and organization in the department.

The pledge comes after an audit was conducted in response to the deadly shooting on New Year's Day fatal of  Oscar Grant by BART transit officer Johannes Mehserle.

In that audit, the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives said that BART officers needed more training and presence on trains and stations.

As part of the promised changes, BART officials say the transit system would set up a civilian board to look into complaints of police abuse or excessive force.

The lawyer for one of the officers who was on the platform at the time of the shooting says BART officers are being made scapegoats.

Alison Berry Wilkinson represents Bart police officer Marysol Dominici.  She says the newly released audit that slams BART's policies and training methods comes as no surprise.

"I think many of the things you see in that report do help explain what happened New Year's Day," Wilkinson said.

She said much of the report points to the very heart of the officer Mehserle's defense.

Wilkinson said officer Dominici and her colleagues did the best they could with the training and equipment they had New Year's morning, adding she is glad the focus is finally shifting from the officers to BART.

"The officers who were out there were trying to to a good job and trying to do what was expected of them and found themselves in a situation not properly supported by their department for handling," Wilkinson said.

Wilkinson said Dominici, who's still on paid administrative leave, is anxious to get back to work.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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