Calif. transit cops kill knife-wielding man

One BART officer suffered cuts and bruises on his arm, two officers have been placed on administrative leave


Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO — A man reportedly armed with a knife on a Bay Area Rapid Transit station platform in San Francisco was shot and killed by police, transit officials said Monday.

BART spokesman Linton Johnson said dispatchers received a call of a "wobbly drunk" on the platform of the Civic Center/UN Plaza station at around 9:30 p.m. Sunday. Two transit officers arrived and then reported shooting a man, who died about an hour later.

Investigators were trying to determine whether the man killed was the same person originally reported to be drunk. Investigators reported finding broken glass and knives at the scene

One BART officer suffered cuts and bruises on his arm. Both officers have been placed on administrative leave, as is standard policy.

Neither the shooting victim nor the officers involved have been identified, though BART officials said the dead man was white, as was one of the officers. The other officer was described by the agency as Asian.

BART is battling an image problem after a white officer shot and killed an unarmed black passenger on New Year's Day 2009 at a station in Oakland, a killing that sparked widespread debate and prompted racial unrest in that city.

Johannes Mehserle quit the police force shortly after the shooting and was later charged with murder for shooting Oscar Grant in the back while Grant was pinned face down on Oakland's Fruitvale station. Mehserle was convicted of involuntary manslaughter after testifying he meant to use his Taser rather than his gun. He recently was released from prison after serving half of a two-year sentence.

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