No Charges Against BART Officer-Involved Killing of Sahleem Tindle

Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O'Malley said that her office won't file criminal charges against a BART officer who fatally shot a 28-year-old man near the West Oakland BART station in January, concluding that the evidence doesn't justify charges.

Sahleem Tindle was killed by Officer Joseph Mateu in the shooting in the 1400 block of Seventh Street, across the street from the West Oakland station at about 4:40 p.m. on Jan. 3.

O'Malley released a 48-page report on the shooting following a lengthy investigation by her office.

Oakland police, who also investigated the shooting, said shortly afterward that Tindle was armed while he was grappling with another man on the sidewalk and refused commands when Mateu shot him.

BART police released a video of the shooting on Feb. 21 but there were different interpretations of what it shows.

BART police Chief Carlos Rojas said he believes the video indicates that Tindle didn't have his hands up when Mateu shot him three times and that Tindle didn't raise his hands until after he was shot.

But Tindle's mother Yolanda Banks Reed said she believes the video shows that Tindle's back was turned away from the man he'd been grappling with and that Mateu shot him in the back.

The district attorney's report says, "The credible and admissible evidence shows that Officer Mateu acted in what he actually and reasonably believed to be self-defense and defense of others. The examined evidence does not support the contention that the shooting of Mr. Tindle was criminal."

Mateu was hired as a community service assistant for BART police in May 2003, was sworn in as a police officer in November 2007 and was promoted to senior police officer in January 2010.

Mateu initially was placed on paid administrative leave but was cleared to return to work two weeks after the shooting.

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