In the wake of BART PD’s New Years Day shooting of Oscar Grant, law firm Meyers Nave was commissioned to create two independent reports of how the hell this happened.

“The first report” according to BART “contains extensive information regarding personnel matters, which are confidential and cannot be released under state law.”

The public report, however, “which is limited to those aspects of the investigation that are not confidential and not protected from disclosure by state law” is yours for the reading.

Released today (but dated August 11) the report’s key points include:

  • BART PD’s manual is outdated (some portions remain untouched since the 70s) and needs a complete overhaul.
  • BART PD’s expected “train tactics” weren’t followed during the initial search of the BART cars during the incident
  • BART PD didn’t work as a team (like they’re supposed to), they worked independently, reducing their effectiveness and increasing the risk of assault
  • Leadership and communication “were lacking” and “No one seemed to be in charge of the situation.” And there wasn’t a BART PD supervisor on scene, like there should have been.
  • Keeping your Taser next to your gun is a shitty idea
  • BART PD’s use of force reporting is not so good
  • It’s still not clear if the right people were even detained that night
  • The post-shooting investigation was a mess: officers shouldn’t have watched the video before they were questioned, witnesses should have been questioned that night (not way later), and “the other actions of the involved officers were not adequately probed.”
  • BART PD’s personel complaint system led to a lack of accountability for their officers, and possibly, to officers being comfortable with using unnecessary force without fear of consequences.
  • BART PD: not transparent. If you didn’t get that already.
  • BART PD’s detention methods, like leaving detainees in handcuffs for four-six hours, are not acceptable.

You can see BART’s statement on the report here, download the full Public Report: Review of BART PD Policies, Practices and Procedures Re: New Year’s Day 2009, or just their key findings.

the author

Eve Batey is the editor and publisher of the San Francisco Appeal. She used to be the San Francisco Chronicle's Deputy Managing Editor for Online, and started at the Chronicle as their blogging and interactive editor. Before that, she was a co-founding writer and the lead editor of SFist. She's been in the city since 1997, presently living in the Outer Sunset with her husband, cat, and dog. You can reach Eve at

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