BART to review arrest, injuries at West Oakland station
on November 22, 2009
A disruptive passenger arrested at the West Oakland BART station Saturday evening is awaiting arraignment after being pushed through a glass window by a BART Police Officer. A BART press release distributed Sunday said the agency was opening a use-of-force investigation into the actions of the officer during the arrest.
A fellow passenger aboard the Pittsburgh-Bay Point bound train recorded the arrest on a mobile device and posted the video on YouTube. The 1 minute and 18-second footage, which as of this writing has been taken off YouTube, documents a portion of the incident showing a man yelling at his fellow passengers before being grabbed by a BART police officer and hauled onto the platform. BART’s press release cites witness statements that the passenger appeared to be intoxicated.
In the video, passengers on the train are heard applauding the officer’s action. While completing the arrest, in the video the officer appeared to push the suspect directly into the glass window, resulting in cuts on the face and arms of both involved. Footage also shows other passengers, including, according to the BART press release, off-duty police officers assisting in the arrest.
In the wake of the Oscar Grant shooting incident by a BART police officer on New Years Day 2009, BART announced in August that all use-of-force incidents will be reported and investigated. As to when the results of Saturday’s review will be announced, BART Chief Spokesman Linton Johnson said the investigation will take “as long as is needed to compile all of the facts and determine whether the officer’s actions were within the guidelines of the use of force policy.” Johnson also said that the unidentified officer involved in the arrest has been placed on industrial leave “indefinitely” as a result of his injuries.
An official at the Santa Rita County Jail confirmed that the suspect, Michael Joseph Gibson, 37, awaits charges of battery on a police officer with injury (felony), obstruction and resisting an officer (felony) and disorderly conduct – intoxicated in public (misdemeanor).
Gibson’s court appearance is scheduled for Tuesday at 2pm at the Wiley W. Manuel Courthouse in Downtown Oakland.
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