A black man who was anticipating to get a train to work was handcuffed and arraigned for eating a breakfast sandwich on a train station platform in California last Monday, November 11, igniting the protests and “eat-ins” at the platform over the weekend.
The backlash urged Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) general manager Bob Powers to publish an apology Monday, stating that while the police deputies who prevented and arrested the man was performing their work, he was “frustrated [with] how the circumstances disclosed.”
In a now-viral videotape posted to social media on Friday, BART police deputies are seen arresting the man, identified in local source reports as Steve Foster, who was consuming on the platform at the Pleasant Hill platform.
The video shows the deputy holding on to the man’s backpack as the pair argue.
“You are arrested and you’re not free to go,” the deputy tells.
“You came up here and f***** with me,” Steve Foster replies. “You singled me out, out of all these people.”
“You’re eating,” the deputy responds.
“Yeah, so what,” Steve replies.
“It’s against the law,” the deputy says. “I attempted to clarify that to you … I have the power to arrest you.“
The two remain continued to argue while the deputy expects for backup. Steve’s friend, who recorded the video, denotes out that there aren’t any signs that say travelers can’t consume on the platform.
“Why is there a shop downstairs vending food if we’re not permitted to consume up here?” she replies. “Where is there a sign up hereabouts that states we can’t consume on the platform? We acknowledge we can’t consume on the train.”
“I do this every day, bro,” Steve adds.
At one period, after the deputy says he’s being arrested, Steve says, “I don’t feel restrained. I feel harassed. That’s what I think.“
After a little more than 8 minutes, 3 other deputies show up and handcuff Steve before leading him down the platform and through the station.