San Fran’s BART Withholding Surveillance Videos Of Crime To Avoid ‘Stereotypes’

In the last three months, there have been at least three robberies on BART involving groups of teenagers. “I think people are genuinely concerned – they are fearful about the stories that have come out about the recent attacks, the assaults, the thefts,” said Debora Allen, who is a member of the BART Board of Directors. “To release these videos would create a high level of racially insensitive commentary toward the district,” she was told. “And in addition it would create a racial bias in the riders against minorities on the trains.” According to a memo distributed to BART Directors, the agency won’t do a press release on the June 30 theft because it was a “petty crime” that would make BART look “crime ridden.” Furthermore, it would “unfairly affect and characterize riders of color, leading to sweeping generalizations in media reports.” The memo was from BART Assistant General Manager Kerry Hamill.