BART-ing While Houseless (and White)

Tiny - Posted on 13 July 2011

Mesha Irizarry/Idriss Stelley Foundation

On July 3rd, 2011, at 9:45 pm, a 45 year old scruffy-looking man of Euro descent, only Id'd 8 days later through his driver license picture , Charles Blair Hill, described by the corporate press as a "wobbly drunk", and a "crazy hippy", met a violent fate on a SF Civic Center BART Platform at the hands of white and Asian BART Thugs in Blue.  3 bullet casings were recovered on the platform.  Charles was declared dead at San Francisco General Hospital an hour later.  Merely a case of BARTIng while Homeless and possibly intoxicated that has now become a justifiable death sentence on the street in the Land of the Proud and the Free, 2 hours before "Independence Day".

The people of San Francisco will not stay silent on any BART Police killings !

Eight days later, On July 11 2001, 5 pm, commemorating Charles' Stolen Life at the hand of BART Police, an estimated crowd of 200 civil rights protesters(although the corporate press estimated numbers at 60 or 80), of all races, ages and economic backgrounds descended en masse on the Civic Center BART Platform where Charles was executed like a rabid dog,
where we met a barrage of hundreds of cops in full riot gear, some flanked with huge K-9 dogs, pre-civil rights style, while we chanted: "No Justice, No Peace! Cops, Pigs, Dismantle the BART Police!"


Quiet as kept:  Charles Blair Hill's killing by BART Police if the fifth occurrence since 1992

Those who are relatively new to the Bay Area may not know that this is the 5th BART police killing--all People of Color-- to the exception of Charles Hill.  In the previous cases, BART's internal investigations concluded that the officers felt threatened by the victims and were justified in pulling the trigger. It's unbelievable given the circumstances of the killings:

- In 1992, 19-year-old African American Jerrold Hall (only son of Cornelius Hall, who at the time was the Fire chief of Oakland !) was shot in the back by a BART officer as he tried to leave the parking lot of a station. The officer was responding to reports of an armed robbery and said he suspected that Hall and a friend were involved. The officer tried to detain the two. Hall ran and then the officer shot him in the back and killed him. Hall was unarmed, but the officer said he thought Hall was on his way to get a gun and return for a showdown.
Jerrold's assassin later committed suicide....

- In 2001, an African American schizophrenic man, Bruce Seward was the next victim of the rogue force. Seward, 42, was naked and had been sleeping on a bench outside the BART station when an officer approached him. Seward did grab the officer's nightstick at one point, but there were several options for subduing him. Instead, the officer shot and killed him. At the time, 2 weeks before the S.F.P.D. killing of my own son Idriss Stelley, 23 year old African American student, I had the opportunity to listen to an archived audiotape of that homicidal investigation. Excerpt: (Investigator): "So, you felt you had to kill the suspect?" (BART Cop): "Dunno, he just had this look on his face like he wanted me to shoot him"

- On January 1, 2009, African American Youth Oscar Grant was assassinated, handcuffed, face down, by BART officer Johannes Mesherle, (who was released from custody last June 12, 2001, for "Good Behavior" following a substantial reduction of his incarceration for time already served from indictment to trial).

- Mid August,2010, BART police killed a distraught man of interracial descent, Fred Cook, 34.

- Shortly after, Robert Greer died from am alleged "fall" after being taken into BART police custody.

"At first I thought it was fireworks"

"At first I thought it was fireworks, and we didn't pay any attention," said Edwin Li, a San Franciscan who was on a train stopped at the station when the shooting of Charles Blair Hill occurred.  He got off the train and saw the two officers with Hill nearby on the ground.
"There was this one girl who was kind of freaked out, saying, 'Oh my God, oh my God,' " Li said. "There were people on the platform."

(The killing endangered the lives of innocent bystanders.... WHO do you mean to Serve & Protect, again?)

A BART commuter sent me a private message two nights ago, right after seeing Charles 'photo in SF Gate: "Dear God ! I knew him ! I used to give him quarters all the time, sweet guy, he would not have hurt a fly !"


A young African American man, husband of one of my staff at Hayward Emergency Shelter of which I was the program director in Nov, 2001, jumped fair at South Hayward Bart as he was late to go pick up his new born baby from childcare. 4 BART cops brought him to the ground and started hitting him with sticks, one was recording and kept yelling at him:
"N..., say you wanna die, you know you wanna die, say it N...".....
so that he could become yet another "BLACK SUICIDE BY COP"
There were witnesses in the platform, and the young Brother started screaming,
"NO ! My wife and I just had a beautiful baby boy, I don't wanna die !
Someone PLEASE ! Call the police, the REAL police !".

the BART cops gave him a citation and let him go....

He and his wife were so shaken by the occurrence that I had to conduct two emergency counseling sessions with the couple, and an interactive "Know Your Rights" seminar with the entire family of the victim...

BART protest

The corporate press whines on and on about the major delays and "distress" incurred through last evening's Stolen Lives protest at Civic Center BART Station for the decent commuters trying to get home. Charles, a "transient", on the dark side of the conservative middle class, who considers the Homeless as a "nuisance"...will never enter a shelter, let alone attend a function with his grieving family and friend.

I am yet to read ONE word of compassion towards Charles' Grieving Family. I wholeheartedly hope that his family members and friends do not read the hundreds of hateful,vilifying and degrading comments,entered below corporate press coverage of the killing, Assault compounding horror and injury, stabbed through the heart each time they would read "wobbly drunk" about their Loved One, posted by cops on company time, budget and equipment, and by their unconditional police culture lovers.

Alcohol is a LEGAL drug,
late stage alcoholism is an ILLNESS,
not a CRIME !


Yet, another wasted, Stolen Life, white this time...probably to the immense relief of Law Enforcement, as it dilutes allegations of longstanding illegal Racially biased Policing.
Or would it be that on the BART Plantation, poor, Black, Brown, and the Homeless,
Are N...s of our World ? Don't Drink & BART, if you have a preference for staying alive ?

I would like to understand how a distraught subject, with unsteady balance, could possibly "lunge" at an officer with allegedly a broken vodka bottle in one hand and a knife in the other,
without falling down in the process ?  I am a female disabled Elder, and with the basic self defense training I took, I have, to this day, no difficulty to quickly bring down to the ground any large aggressor with my cane....


But Police organizational culture has it that one should not merely impair the fine motor skills of a subject while bringing her/him safely to the ground, hence protecting the subject from self harm and near onlookers, but to always shoot at center mass, which I was taught for 15 weeks at my SFPD Academy Citizens Training in 2003. What happened with the much praised CIT (Crisis Intervention Training) modeled after the Memphis PD training ? More smoke, more mirrors, more assassinations.

If you witness police misconduct, and shoot pictures or a video with your cell phone,
* stay 10 ft away from the scene,
* loudly assert that you are "Exercising Your Constitutional Right to Observe",
* and if at all quickly possible take the chip out of your cell and hide it in
your mouth after filming your evidence !

"An Injustice to One is an Injustice to ALL"

Rest in Glory Brother Charles,
You will not be forgotten
One lingering regret...
I never got a chance to give you a quarter, a ciggie, a sandwich with a bottle of water....

more photos after Charles Killing
by Idriss Stelley Foundation Wednesday Jul 13th, 2011 2:01 AM


Charles is wheeled out if Civic Center BART On a collapsible gurney towards an ambulance, his body twisted on one side, probably dead....

Photo #2.
Civic Center BART entrances all cordoned off last evening, after all of us protesters and commuters were encircled and pushed towards upstairs escalators to get to street level, by a barrage of cops in full riot gear, some with HUGE K9 dogs. p[re civil rights style./....

Fred Collins is the name of the man executed in July (not August) 2010--about a week after the Mehserle verdict was announced.

Re Oscar Grant, his skull had already been damaged at the time he was shot in the back—-most likely because Tony Pirone was kneeling on his neck and was out of control all the way around.

And let us not forget about Ken Carruthers, a man of African descent who Mehserle beat up just a few weeks before shooting Oscar in the back.

When the story was first broad casted on C.B.S. a reporter implied "Why there was no taser used?"


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