BART reaches $1.5M settlement over fatal shooting

Posted on January 28, 2010

On Wednesday, the San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District (BART) reached an agreement to pay $1.5 million to the daughter of a man fatally shot by a transit police officer on New Year's Day in 2009.

The settlement stems from the $50 million lawsuit filed against the agency following the officer-involved shooting that took place on the Fruitvale BART Station platform. BART officials issued the following statements:

“It’s been a little over a year since we experienced the tragic death of Oscar Grant,” BART Board President James Fang said. “No matter what anyone’s opinion of the case may be, the sad fact remains this incident has left Tatiana without a father. The $1.5 million settlement will provide financial support for her. A federal judge oversaw the settlement proceedings and the structure of the settlement will still need to be approved by the court. While these proceedings have been taking place, we on the BART Board have been taking the actions needed to improve the BART Police Department to ensure our officers are better-trained and better-equipped to keep our customers safe.”

“This settlement is critical in our efforts to move forward,” said BART Board Member Carole Ward Allen, who chairs the BART Police Department Review Committee, which is guiding the implementation of the changes within the police department. “We’re working hard to make the Police Department the best it can be for our officers, our customers and our community.”

Since the shooting, BART has made a number of significant changes including:

  • Working with the State Legislature to pass a bill (AB1586) on citizen oversight of the BART Police Department implemented – Monday, January 25, the State Assembly passed AB1586  (67-0), it now heads to the State Senate.
  • More than tripling the number of training hours provided all officers, including increased training in crowd control, defensive tactics and Taser use.
  • Involving the public in BART’s search for a new police chief.
  • Increasing police visibility in stations and on trains.
  • Requiring officers to report all use-of-force incidents, not just those deemed “significant,” with each incident thoroughly reviewed by a newly-established panel that determines the next appropriate steps of action.

To read a CNN report on the settlement, click here.

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