Video surveillance of Sunday’s fatal shooting on the Civic Center station platform by a BART officer is expected to be released when all 40 witnesses are interviewed, the transit agency’s police said Wednesday.
The final decision, though is ultimately is up to the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office, BART Deputy Police Chief Daniel Hartwig said.
The video, which only shows one view of the shooting, is part of the ongoing investigation, Hartwig said. And investigators do not want to “influence witnesses one way or another” by releasing the video before talking to all of them.
BART officials estimate there are between 35 and 40 people who witnessed the shooting. All but 12 have been spoken to. Videos taken by passengers have yet to surface and BART police said they are not aware of any on the Internet.
Hartwig said Wednesday the surveillance video will be released as long as it doesn’t hinder the investigation.
“As soon as we turn the case over to San Francisco district attorney, we intend to release the video as long as there is no objection by the district attorney,” he said.
BART police officers were called to the Civic Center station platform at 9:34 p.m. Sunday after someone reported a white man in a tie-dyed T-shirt and green military-style pants walking around “wobbly and appeared to be drunk.” Witnesses reported the man was carrying a bottle of alcohol.
Two BART officers arrived to the station by train around 9:45 p.m., about a minute later one of the officers, neither of whom have been identified, shot at the man, striking him in the front torso. The man died about an hour later at San Francisco General Hospital.
BART police have said the man had a bottle that was used as a weapon and a knife, but the initial call, Hartwig said, did not report the man to have a knife. A knife, though, was recovered on the platform.
It is also unknown if the man ever entered a BART train.
One of the officers was equipped with a Taser, Hartwig said, but it is not known if the officer who fired on the man had the device.
Hartwig said BART officers are trained not to use their Tasers “in a life-threatening situation or a situation of eminent danger.”
All BART officers will be equipped with Tasers by Monday, Hartwig said.
While officers continue to investigate what took place that night on the platform, they are also reaching out to the public to help identify the man shot by BART police. The man is described as a white male between 30 and 50 years old.
BART spokesman Linton Johnson said it is up to the Medical Examiner’s Office to ultimately release the name once the person has been identified.
“Somebody knows who he is,” Johnson said. “But we don’t.”
This is the sixth officer-involved shooting in BART’s 40-year history that resulted in death or injury, according to the transit agency.