This Seems Kind Of Wrong of the Day: Cell phone service was temporarily suspended in several Bay Area Rapid Transit stations to prevent protesters from communicating with each other, according to BART police Lt. Andy Alkire.
Word that members of “No Justice No BART” would be protesting the shooting death of Charles Hill by a BART police officer reached BART’s media relations department, which asked wireless providers to shut off service at four downtown San Francisco stations to prevent “disruptive activities.” A similar protest on July 11th delayed trains for hours during the evening commute.
“Paid areas of BART stations are reserved for ticketed passengers who are boarding, exiting or waiting for BART cars and trains, or for authorized BART personnel,” BART said in a statement explaining their actions. “No person shall conduct or participate in assemblies or demonstrations or engage in other expressive activities in the paid areas of BART stations, including BART cars and trains and BART station platforms.”
Alkire called the service disruption “a great tool to utilize for this specific purpose.”
Charles Hill, a heavily intoxicated 45-year-old transient, was shot and killed by a BART police officer who claimed Hill was threatening him with knives. According to witness testimony, Hill was not running or lunging as the two officers who intercepted him reported.
CCTV footage released by BART does not appear to verify either version of the story.
You know what? It is fucking terrifying to me that police can just shut down cell phone service if there are riots or whatever around.