Yesterday morning at the Oakland Local: The physician who treated the latest BART police shooting victim wrote an evocative letter. Read it here in its entirety.
Last month, I learned that one of my former patients - Charles Hill - was shot and killed by BART police. Per the police, he was armed with a bottle and a knife and had menacing behavior. Per eye witnesses, he was altered and appeared to be intoxicated, but did not represent a lethal danger.
I remember Charles vividly, having taken care of him several times in the revolving door, which is the health care system for the people who do not fit neatly into society. Charles was a member of the invisible class of people in SF - mentally ill, homeless and not reliably connected to the help he needed. While I had seen him agitated before and while I can't speak to all of his behavior, I never would have described him as threatening in such a way as to warrant the use of deadly force.
I would like to lend my voice to the growing protest of the BART police's excessive use of violent force and know that weekly protests are being organized on Mondays until demands are met for BART to fully investigate the shooting of Charles Hill, disarm its police force and train them properly, as well as bringing the officer who shot him to justice.
The media is portraying the annoyance of the protests to commuters more than the unbelievable horror that an innocent man was shot dead by the force that is meant to protect us. I don't want to upset commuters or be a nuisance. I would like to be part of educating and not letting this slip under the proverbial rug, in honor of Charles Hill and in order to help prevent something like this from ever happening again.