SAN FRANCISCO, California – On Sunday, July 3rd, the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) Police responded to a call about an intoxicated individual at the Civic Center BART platform. Within moments of arriving, 2 officers approached 45-year-old Charles B. Hill, and shot him three times resulting in his death. While BART and BART Police claim Hill was wielding a knife, other witnesses claim that Hill could have been easily restrained with the use of non-lethal force and that he posed no threat. Police have at least partial footage of the incident but refuse to release it, nor have they proceeded openly with their investigation with the media.
In response to the shooting reminiscent of the 2009 shooting of Oscar Grant, a demonstration was called for Monday, July 11th at the Civic Center BART platform. Demonstrators delayed BART trains from leaving the Civic Center station, shutting down the station for both BART and MUNI. Announcements at BART stations and on trains could be heard over the loudspeaker stating that BART trains would not be stopping at Civic Center due to “civil unrest”. Police intervened in the civil disobedience and many of the demonstrators reconnoitered above ground, eventually marching towards the Powell St. station. Meanwhile another group delayed trains at the 16th st. Station. Demonstrators at Powell took the train to 16th and merged together with the 16th st. demonstrators to march down the street towards Powell and Market. They were forced to zig-zag down side streets due to police blocking traffic flow. The march culminated at the Powell and Market intersection, spilling into the tourist-dense Powell st. Cable Car turnabout. The marchers attempted to continue up the street but were beat back by police leading to a stand-off, merging a crowd of demonstrators with hundreds of tourists. The demonstration ended around the scheduled time, after half an hour of milling around chanting, “No justice, no peace, disband the BART police” and distributing information about the murder of Charles Hill.
Read more about the murder of Charles Hill at OaklandforJustice.