BART Police

BART Police (Photo credit: Sipa/USA)

Family of Man Shot By BART Officer Asks That Officer Be Prosecuted

March 13, 2018 - 1:55 pm

OAKLAND (KCBS Radio) - Family members of a 28-year-old man fatally shot by a BART police officer near the West Oakland BART station two months ago came to the Alameda County District Attorney's Office today to demand that the officer be fired, arrested, criminally charged and convicted.

Yolanda Banks Reed, the mother of Sahleem Tindle, who was killed in the shooting in the 1400 block of Seventh Street across the street from the West Oakland station at about 4:40 p.m. on Jan. 3, said Chief Assistant District Attorney Kevin Dunleavy told her and other family members that his office's investigation into the matter is still continuing.

Oakland police, who also are investigating the shooting, have said that Tindle was armed while he was grappling with another man on the sidewalk and refused commands when Officer Joseph Mateu shot him.

Banks Reed said BART officials should not have allowed Mateu to return to works two weeks after the shooting "because he took my son's life."

Attorney John Burris, who represents Tindle's family and has filed a claim alleging that BART police violated Tindle's civil rights, joined Tindle's family at the district attorney's office today and said he thinks that based on the evidence he's seen so far, Mateu should be charged with committing an unlawful killing, possibly manslaughter or murder.

BART police released a video of the shooting on Feb. 21 but there are different interpretations of what it shows.

BART police Chief Carlos Rojas said he believe the video indicates that Tindle didn't have his hands up when Mateu shot him three times and that Tindle didn't raise his hands until after he was shot.

Rojas also said he thinks the video indicates that the hands of the man who Tindle was struggling with were empty, which he believes shows that the man hadn't possessed a gun.

But members of the activist groups the Anti Police-Terror Project and Mothers Fight Back, who joined Tindle's family at the district attorney's office today, said in a statement that they believe the video "exposed for all to plainly see that Sahleem was shot in the back three times with his hands up and no weapon in sight."

Mateu was hired as a community service assistant for BART police in May 2003, was sworn in as a police officer in November 2007 and was promoted to senior police officer in January 2010.

Mateu initially was placed on paid administrative leave but was cleared to return to work two weeks after the shooting.

Tindle's family and the activist groups have attended two BART board meetings and a BART Police Citizen Review Board meeting to demand justice for Tindle. BART directors said at their meeting last Thursday that an update on the investigation into the shooting will be presented at their next meeting.

Tindle's family and the activist groups were also planning to go to Oakland police headquarters at 6 p.m. today to demand that Mateu be arrested, but Anti-Police Terror Project leader Cat Brooks said that the rain today has forced them to postpone that action until a later date.

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