Target: Bay Area Rapid Transit Chief of Police Kenton Rainey
Goal: Drop all charges against Nubia Bowe, a young woman of color who was arrested and assaulted by police despite witnesses proclaiming her innocence
On March 21, a train on the BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) system was stopped by BART police as they responded to a complaint about individuals dancing on the train to solicit money from passengers. The police approached two individuals who were traveling with passenger Nubia Bowe on their way back from work. Although Bowe and other passengers repeatedly stated that the two men were not the ones who had been dancing, BART police reportedly used violence to detain Bowe and arrest her, ultimately locking her up for four nights without access to a telephone and continuing to abuse her during her incarceration.
In her own words, Bowe says, “I was first slammed to the ground and then thrown against the wall… My mouth was full of blood… The whole time this was happening, I repeatedly said, ‘I am not resisting arrest. You are violating my civil rights.'” As the Daily Kos reports, bystanders heard the officers responding, “You have no rights.” Bowe describes being held and tortured for four days at Santa Rita, a holding facility which is known for its unsanitary conditions. According to Bowe, the abuses she suffered included being confined in isolation, part of the time in a straight jacket, without any access to a phone.
Charges against Bowe initially included felony and misdemeanor charges of resisting arrest and assault against an officer, but have been reduced to only misdemeanor charges. According to several news sources, a coalition called “One Shot Away” has been formed by local residents to address this and past instances in which BART police have initiated violence against people of color.
Join those who are standing with Nubia Bowe and against racial profiling and police terrorism, by signing the below petition to BART police chief Kenton Rainey.
Dear Police Chief Rainey,
An innocent young African American woman was brutalized and arrested by BART police, despite repeated declarations of her innocence by other passengers. BART police used violence to detain Bowe and arrested her, ultimately leading to her detainment for four nights without access to a telephone, during which she was repeatedly brutalized. Charges against Bowe initially included felony and misdemeanor charges of resisting arrest and assault against an officer but have been reduced to only misdemeanor charges.
By signing this petition, I join others who revile this and previous instances of BART police initiating violent behavior against people of color. The arrest and incarceration of Nubia Bowe follows a stream of instances which have targeted people of color, including New Year’s Day, 2009, when a man was shot and killed while being detained on a BART platform. In this instance, the officer in question was convicted only of involuntary manslaughter, after saying that he had confused his gun for his taser.
I join others in affirming that we cannot accept such behavior from law enforcement officers who carry lethal firearms, and whom we have trusted to serve and protect the citizens and residents of the United States. I ask that you use your influence to ensure that all charges be dropped against Nubia Bowe.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Bay Area Rapid Transit Police Department via Wikipedia Commons