Assemblyman Ammiano to hold hearing on BART police 

State Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, a longtime advocate for oversight of BART’s police department, will hold a hearing next month on the agency’s officer-involved shooting on July 3.

Charles Hill, a 45-year-old man with no fixed address, was fatally shot by BART officers at the Civic Center Station. BART police chief Kenton Rainey said that Hill attacked two officers with a pair of knives and a glass bottle before they fired at him.

Despite reforms pushed through in the wake of the Oscar Grant shooting, BART’s police department has been criticized for its lack of transparency and unwillingness to release more information about the Hill shooting. Station video footage, which captured a portion of the events, still hasn’t been released, and BART hasn’t explained why the entire incident took just one minute to unfold.

Ammiano hopes to have some of these questions answered during an informational hearing at an upcoming Assembly Committee meeting on Public Safety. Ammiano hasn’t set a date yet, but he said it will likely be in mid-August.

Following Grant’s death in 2009, Ammiano authored legislation to create a civilian review committee and an independent auditor to monitor the BART police department. His bill, however, was merged with that of another version put forth by Assemblyman Sandre Swanson.

Ammiano recently told the Examiner that the newer version of the bill lacked enough mandatory enforcement measures.

“With three deaths in three years, we need to ensure that BART police are properly trained and following procedures,” said Ammiano. “I urge the SFPD and BART to be transparent and share the results of their investigation into the death of Charles Hill with the public as soon as possible.”

wreisman@sfexaminer.com

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Sunday, Sep 14, 2014

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