When Steve Foster was found eating a sandwich on a BART platform, cops arrested him using force. A protest was arranged in his support.
If you didn't know already, police brutality in the United States is a pretty big problem. Especially when it comes to Black communities. Black people have been murdered by the cops for doing the most basic things, things that aren't even illegal. So when Steve Foster, a Black man from San Francisco, was arrested simply for eating a breakfast sandwich while waiting for a train on the platform at a Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) station, no one was really surprised. They were, however, deeply angered and impassioned. Even after years of activism, Black people in America can't even eat without being attacked by those supposed to protect them. The incident went viral on social media platform Facebook after Foster uploaded video footage of his unwarranted arrest, NBC News reports.
Posting the videos through his Facebook profile under the name Bill Gluckman, he wrote, "Just out of curiosity... Has anybody ever got arrested and written a ticket for eating a breakfast sandwich on a BART platform at eight in the morning? Nobody? Just me? Okay." The post now has over 5,300 reactions and 9,000 comments. It has also been shared over 42,000 times since it was first uploaded. The video displays Foster eating a sandwich on the Pleasant Hill platform as a BART officer, whose nametag reads D. McCormick, pulls on the strap of his backpack. Foster cooperates but demands to know exactly what he's done wrong - which the officer has no real explanation for.
Foster is heard saying, "I'm not even on BART... You came over here and f*cked with me out of all these people..." Admittedly, Foster does state later on in the video, "You're a f*ckin' weirdo." He also calls the officer racial and homophobic slurs and refuses to tell him his name as he has done nothing wrong. The officer simply states repeatedly, "I just explained that you are detained. Did I not? You are detained and you're not free to go... You're eating... It's against the law... It's a violation of California law. I have a right to detain you." Multiple officers then appear on the scene, tell Foster he was being arrested for resisting arrest, handcuff him, and finally escort him away.
Following the incident, multiple passengers arranged an "eat-in" protest titled Brunch at Bart at the Embarcadero station as a show of support for Foster on Saturday, 9 November. On Monday, BART General Manager Bob Powers asserted in a statement that he was "disappointed" with how the situation was handled. He added that eating in the "paid area" is banned, nothing that there are multiple signs inside every station informing passengers of this rule. He clarified that this was not the case with the incident that occurred with Foster at Pleasant Hill station. As per Powers, the police officer asked Foster to stop eating as he passed him on the way to another call. "It should have ended there, but it didn’t," Powers stated. "When the officer walked by again and still saw him eating, he moved forward with the process of issuing him a citation." Nonetheless, he did apologize to Foster for the way he was treated and added, "Enforcement of infractions such as eating and drinking inside our paid area should not be used to prevent us from delivering on our mission to provide safe, reliable, and clean transportation." An investigation is ongoing and findings will shortly be reported to the citizen review board.