BART Board approves expanding internal affairs investigation

BART Board approves expanding internal affairs investigation

The BART Board of Directors on Thursday voted to increase the amount BART will pay a law firm to conduct an independent internal affairs investigation into the Jan. 1 fatal shooting of a passenger by a former BART police officer.

The initial $99,000 agreement with law firm Meyers Nave was based upon estimates for interviewing about 40 witnesses identified in the criminal investigation into the shooting of Oscar Grant. However, because the internal affairs probe spans a wider range, including a review of events leading up to the shooting, “the breadth of the necessary investigation is greater than anticipated when the original estimate was provided,” BART managers wrote in recommending that the Board approve the expanded contract.

The Board voted to amend the agreement to cover services up to $250,000.

Meanwhile, BART is seeking proposals from independent firms to conduct an additional, separate review of BART Police Department policies and tactics, from recruitment, hiring and training to use of force, investigatory practices and how BART Police handle citizen complaints. The deadline for those proposals to be submitted is March 31 and more information can be found here

A chronology of BART news releases related to the New Year’s Day shooting, including various steps BART has taken in response to the incident and links to videos of press conferences, can be found here.

Former officer Johannes Mehserle has been charged with murder. A preliminary hearing in the criminal case is scheduled for May 18.