BART Officials Hide Videos of Black Mob Violence

Eureka! Look no more for the Rosetta Stone, the smoking gun, the Holy Grail of how reporters and public officials are in denial, deceit, and delusion about black criminality so wildly out of proportion.

We found it. And it is a doozy: Transit officials in the San Francisco area do not release videos of black criminality because they do not want to make the black kids angry.

Yes, they say that.

This discovery comes courtesy of the Bay Area Rapid Transit system. For years, passengers and former passengers complained about black violence, harassment, threats, robberies and even murder on BART.  Especially aboard the trains going to and from the east bay destinations of Oakland, Richmond, etc.

In April, a large group of black people swarmed through a BART train, beating the hell out of -- then robbing -- seven passengers.  Similar but smaller events have happened at least three times since then. You can see my story on that here on YouTube.

After every episode of violence, reporters and passengers wait for BART to release the videos from the cameras scattered around the stations and inside the cars. But it never happens. All because BART staff fears the videos would cast black people in a bad light, said BART honcho Kerry Hamill in a memo to a BART director:

 …disproportionate elevation of crimes on transit interfaces with local media in such a way to unfairly affect and characterize riders of color, leading to sweeping generalizations in media reports and a high level of racially insensitive commentary directed toward the District through our social media channels, email, and call centers.

This got the full attention of BART director Debora Allen of Contra Costa. She wanted to know what in the world skin color has to do with releasing videos -- public documents -- that might help people avoid and stop violent crime on the trains.

This is where it gets good. More from Hamill:

The social media reaction to the original Coliseum incident in April was startling in the level of racial profiling that it prompted. The General Manager got a call about the incident on her voicemail that used racist and incendiary language that made my mouth drop. 

Many posts used patently offensive language that often involved racial slurs (no news articles ever referenced the race of the offenders yet some members of the public leapt to their own conclusions). 

When I did a story and a video about it, reporting the black mob violence on the train, I based my reporting on what cops and witnesses told me. Nobody was leaping to any conclusions, but I did state the obvious: that BART was hiding the quantity and quality of black violence on their trains. Back to Hamill:

Some telephone calls and posts even involved vague threats. The media has proven its tendency to highlight material in the most inflammatory way possible. 

As a former journalist, I can cite for you a number of bias studies that have pointed out media bias and the damaging consequences of it.

The firestorm of criticism in the wake of the Oscar Grant killing centered around a belief that BART police were racially biased. 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.

I have worked in or with media since the 1980’s. 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. 

People can be fully informed about crimes that occur on our system without being shown images that will inflame some members of the public and paint the transit agency in a poor and ultimately misleading light.

Even though Kerry Hamill puts the blame on “minorities,” that is not really true either. No one is saying large groups of Asian people, or Amish people, or Eskimos, or even Hispanics are creating violence and crime on BART.

It’s a Black Thing. That’s one minority.

BART found that out the hard way in 2015 when a bay area newspaper delved into data generated by a new BART app to report crime and misbehavior.

About 70 percent of the people reported were black. Which, according to the East Bay Express, is proof positive the app was racist, because how could anyone imagine black people break the law more than white people or Asian people?

Surely anyone who has seen the movie Fruitvale Station, based on the killing of Oscar Grant at a BART station, knows that white cops are always picking on black people for no reason what so ever; and that is also why so many black people are arrested, convicted, sent to prison, released and from prison, and return to prison in numbers that are so wildly out of proportion.

Everyone knows that, right?

Not the folks in the Bay area, sayeth the East Bay Express:

The sheer number of complaints against Blacks is hugely disproportionate to BART's passenger demographics. 

According to a 2008 survey conducted by BART, only 10 percent of the transit system's daily customers are Black, whereas 48 percent are white, 24 percent are Asian American, and 20 percent are Latino. 

Of the 198 alerts sent to BART police that identified a person's race or ethnicity, only 37 targeted whites as offenders, just 19 percent of the total.

To recap, black people are 10 percent of the riders but 68 percent of the complaints. White people are 48 percent of the riders, and 19 percent of the complaints. And 100 percent of the people involved in the last four episodes of violence. All this in one of America’s safest spaces of racial justice and harmony.

In the meantime, Hamill’s bosses are backing away from her comments about hiding black violence. They do not care for the inartful way Hamill expressed herself.

But they are not releasing the videos either.

Colin Flaherty is the bestselling author of Don’t Make the Black Kids Angry. His story of the April episode of black mob violence and denial can be found on YouTube by clicking here. Or the videos about the latest black BART violence and denial can be found here.

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