Police Officers Handcuff Man For ‘Illegally Eating’ Sandwich
An African American man found himself in handcuffs after police stopped him for ‘illegally eating’ a breakfast sandwich while waiting for a train.
The incident, which took place at 8am on Monday last week, November 4, sparked controversy online after the footage surfaced on social media on Friday, November 8.
The video was posted on Facebook by Bill Gluckman – the handcuffed man – and has since attracted a furious response, with users saying they’re ‘sick to the stomach disgusted’.
Check out the footage below:
The video opens with a police officer, identified on his badge as D. McCormick, holding onto a man’s backpack while he was eating on the Pleasant Hill Station BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) platform.
The BART police officer said: ‘I’ve just explained to you that you’re detained.’ While pointing to the other passengers about to get on a train, Gluckman replies: ‘You singled me out out of all these people.’
According to California law, eating on a BART platform is illegal. Gluckman says he wasn’t aware of the law, however when he tries to reclaim his backpack, the officer calls for backup, demands Gluckman’s ID and warns he’ll be sent to jail for resisting arrest.
The officer says: ‘You’re going to end up going to jail, my man’. However, Gluckman points out there’s no visible ‘no eating’ signs at the station, saying: ‘I have no reason to give you my name. I’ve done nothing wrong.’
Later in the video, another officer – identified on his badge as L. Vallejo – arrives at the platform with three other officials and puts Gluckman in handcuffs. He says to the camera: ‘Four cops for eating a sandwich?’
However, the sandwich wasn’t the sole cause of the arrest, apparently. The officers add Gluckman was also being arrested on suspicion of additional charges.
Despite Gluckman saying he’d just arrived at the station, Vallejo said: ‘There was a report of somebody matching your description.’
The officer then clarifies: ‘I was called here for a woman who was possibly intoxicated. That’s what I was looking for on the platform… I didn’t find anybody who was drunk. (But Gluckman) was directly in front of me.’
According to a tweet posted by BART on Friday, Gluckman was ultimately only issued a citation rather than a conviction.
The agency wrote:
No matter how you feel about eating on BART, the officer saw someone eating and asked him to stop, when he didn’t he was given a citation. We asked police why he was handcuffed and was told the individual was refusing to provide his name which is needed for citation and was lawfully handcuffed.
As reported by the San Francisco Examiner, BART Board Vice President Rebecca Saltzman said it is investigating the incident.
This cop arrests a man for eating a sandwich whilst waiting for his trainVia: Bill Gluckman
Posted by 1 Million Africans: The Trilogy on Sunday, November 10, 2019
BART’s independent police auditor received a complaint about this and is reviewing. I and other BART directors are following up with management about this.
One user commented she used to eat on BART platforms all the time, and nobody said a word to her.
The user wrote:
I ate on the BART platform REGULARLY until I stopped taking BART about a year ago… no-one ever said a word to me about it. That’s my privilege as a white woman. The officers let me be and apparently pick on others. Talk about selective policing.
Police Auditor Russell Bloom also told the San Francisco Examiner it is ‘in the very early stages of collecting evidence’.
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