Colin Flaherty reviews and gives commentary on news with headlines "Victim dragged off BART train, beaten during robbery in San Francisco" and "BART Withholding Surveillance Videos Of Crime To Avoid ‘Stereotypes’"
[links and excerpts below]
By BAY CITY NEWS SERVICE | Mercury News
PUBLISHED: February 21, 2018 at 12:49 pm | UPDATED: February 21, 2018 at 5:27 pm
SAN FRANCISCO — A BART rider was dragged off a train and beaten during a robbery at the Powell Street BART station in San Francisco on Tuesday morning, BART police said.
Though police said the victim was beaten, he was not injured. The iPhone did not have a tracking device and the suspects remain at large.
by Melissa Caen July 9, 2017 at 4:18 pm
SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX) — In the last three months, there have been at least three robberies on BART involving groups of teenagers.
Allen told us the agency issued an explanation for why it is being tight-lipped about the thefts.
“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.”
Allen emailed Hamill, “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, “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.” And added her opinion of the media: “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.”
According to BART spokesman Taylor Huckaby, state law protecting “juvenile police records” prevents them from showing the surveillance video, even though at least one of the people arrested for the April 22 attack is 19 years old. (He cited Cal. Gov’t Code 827.9) And, even if the faces of juveniles were blurred, Huckaby says watching the videos would be pointless gawking.