2010-2011 2011-2012 Commentary Slider — 30 September 2011
BART police actions spark community outcry

Oscar Grant. Image credit: OaklandLocal.com.

Delamontae Stewart

In the last couple of years, BART police have had several different incidents with civilians in which some cases have resulted in death.

In 2009, a young man named Oscar Grant was murdered by BART police. He was already handcuffed and arrested when he was killed. This is only one example of how BART police take control of their position.

This has triggered hatred toward cops in Oakland by the people. Civilians have protested in many different ways, such as not following laws, shootings, cop shootouts, and overall disrespecting the authority of the cops.

Every day, students catch BART to get to school from their houses and are aware be careful of how the BART polices may take advantage of their job.

Confrontations with people happen; there may be yelling, screaming, cursing people in each other’s faces, but students say that cops should be able to handle the situation.

According to MercuryNews.com, on July 4, 2011, San Francisco BART police shot and killed a man, later identified as Charles Hill. This reminded the whole East Bay of Oscar Grant and led many to protest that justice had still not been served.

Deja Robinson, senior at Oakland High School says, “How can they serve to protect their city when they’re only doing the job to benefit themselves and end up putting other peoples lives in danger?”

Other students added that being a cop means looking out for everyone, and not just yourself.

BART rider Marvin McGee says “Police shouldn’t be so judgemental and know people that’s doing right from wrong.”

Today there are a lot of different crimes happening in Oakland.  Innocent teens get blamed for  the wrong reasons.

Domonique Vaughn, a senior at Dewey High School, commented, “BART police are here for one reason: that’s to protect us. They’re doing just the opposite!”

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About Author

Lara Trale teaches Journalism and English at Oakland High School. Ms. Trale has been the faculty adviser to the Aegis since 2008.

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