Saturday, December 27, 2014

African American Man Sues BART Police Claiming Racial Profiling In Arrest
December 25, 2014 11:40 AM

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – An African American man, who was arrested by Bay Area Rapid Transit police at the Powell station in San Francisco in August, has filed a lawsuit against the transit agency, alleging federal civil rights violations.

The San Francisco Examiner reports, the complaint reads “This is a civil rights complaint arising from BART Police racial profiling, brutality, and wrongful arrest and imprisonment of plaintiff Albert James Burleson.”

It was on August 17 at about 6:55 p.m. when BART officers were searching for a panhandler who confronted a woman at the Powell station. She described the suspect as a black man wearing a black shirt and black pants.

According to the lawsuit, Burleson claims he was waiting for a train when BART police Officer Darnell Bussey told him he matched the description of the panhandler, even though he was neatly dressed in a red shirt, grey jacket and light brown dress shoes.

Burlseon says Bussey grabbed him, knocked him off balance and pulled him toward the track, before grappling him to the ground. Four other officers tackled Burleson to the ground and the suit alleges two of them pressed their knees into Burleson’s neck and back.

The officers took Burleson to the BART police substation at Powell and according to the lawsuit, “Bussey apologized, telling [the] plaintiff they had made a mistake.” After Burleson threatened to file a complaint, he was placed under arrest and ended up spending the night in jail.

BART police said they are conducting an ongoing internal affairs investigation and the agency said they have yet to be served and could not comment on the lawsuit.

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