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Thursday, January 08, 2009

Riots in the streets of Oakland?

According to NPR "

Bay Area Police Officer Shoots Unarmed Man

Audio for this story will be available at approx. 6:00 p.m. ET

Talk of the Nation, January 8, 2009 · A BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) officer shot and killed an unarmed man on Jan. 1. After a peaceful protest at the BART station, the crowd turned violent and took to the streets of Oakland.

Demian Bulwa, a staff writer for the San Francisco Chronicle, was at the riot. He reports police arrested at least 105 rioters for assault, vandalism, looting and arson."

While this is a grainy video its impact is not lessened but according to press reports and that of eye witness's it shows Oakland Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) Police shooting an unarmed man as he was being held down on the floor of the train station. As I write this there has been no response from either Oakland police or the BART authority. This is a horrible thing even more so because it appears to have not been a justifiable shooting. What the death led to was a protest that involved protesters destroying cars and vandalizing other things the majority of them being owned by private citizens with no connection to the people behind the shooting. The question for me is why attack and destroy things that have no connection to the incident that caused the riot or protest in the first place? I would understand attacking BART head quarters or a police station that would at least show some sense. But what good does random violence do? If you have been involved in a protest that turned ugly could you share some thoughts with me on the reasons why or if you just have a theory please feel free to join the discussion.

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