BART not releasing videos of crime in order to avoid 'stereotyping'

Crime on the BART has been bad lately. Just in the last three months alone there have been at least three robberies involving teenagers.

  1. April 22: 40 to 60 kids robbed 7 passengers and beat up 2
  2. June 28: 4 kids assaulted a passenger and made off with a cellphone
  3. June 30: About 12 teens took a woman's phone before getting off at the Coliseum stop. Luckily a good Samaritan was able to get it back for her.

Debora Allen, a member of the BART Board of Directors, KPIX San Francisco:

“I think people are genuinely concerned — they are fearful about the stories that have come out about the recent attacks, the assaults, the thefts."

But so far BART has refused to turn over the surveillance video for any of those incidents. Why? Here's what Allen said:

“To release these videos would create a high level of racially insensitive commentary toward the district. And in addition it would create a racial bias in the riders against minorities on the trains.”


A memo sent out to BART Directors said the agency won't issue a press release on the June 30 incident because it was a "petty crime" that would make BART look "crime ridden."

It would apparently also “unfairly affect and characterize riders of color, leading to sweeping generalizations in media reports.”

So they're so concerned with political correctness that they're not going to address the actual crime happening? Are they all crazy up there?!

The BART memo came from BART Assistant General Manager Kerry Hamill. Debora Allen wrote to Hamill, saying:

"I don’t understand what role the color of one’s skin plays in this issue [of whether to divulge information]. Can you explain?” 

Hamill responded with:

"If we were to regularly feed the news media video of crimes on our system that involve minority suspects, particularly when they are minors, we would certainly face questions as to why we were sensationalizing relatively minor crimes and perpetuating false stereotypes in the process. My view is that the media’s real interest in the videos of youth phone snatching incidents isn’t the desire for transparency but rather the pursuit of ratings. They know that video of these events will drive clicks to their websites and viewers to their programs because people are motivated by fear.”

These people are crazy. BART is run by crazy people.

Read more at CBS SF Bay Area.

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