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BART must wait for bill to create citizen review of its police

By dcuff
Tuesday, September 15th, 2009 at 8:50 am in BART.

BART  must wait for state lawmakers’ approval  for setting up a program for citizen review of the BART police force.

Before the Legislature adjourned last weekend, its leaders decided not to attempt a rush job to approve a bill that BART needs to carry ahead with its plan to hire an auditor and appoint a citizens board to monitor transit police.The call for citizen review was an outgrowth of the rage over a transit officer’s fatal shooting of an unarmed passenger, Oscar Grant III.

Given all the weighty budget issues on the Legislature’s plate, it’s no surprise that lawmakers opted not to give BART a free pass from the usual hearing and time requirements to rush through the bill.

“We knew it was an uphill struggle,” said BART spokesman Linton Johnson. “We’ll be ready to come back next year when the Legislature is in session.”

Johnson said BART made a breakthrough in the last month when it found a sponsor to carry the bill: Assemblyman Sandre Swanson, D-Alameda.



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