BART Police Detain Black Man For Eating A Sandwich

BART train at the Berkeley Station in downtown.

BART Police Detain Black Man For Eating A Sandwich

Community members staged an “eat-in.”

Published November 11, 2019

Written by Vanessa Etienne

San Francisco protesters staged an “eat-in” after a Black man was detained by BART police on Friday (Nov. 8) for eating a sandwich while he waited for his train. 

The incident was an alleged act of racial profiling as people agreed the law has not been enforced in the past.

"My first political awakening was back at a lunch counter in the '60s, now we're back to 'eat-ins," John Reimann, an eat-in participant, told ABC.

The arrest of Steve Foster, 31, went viral on social media. Videos show Foster being handcuffed by multiple officers and taken to a detention room behind the station.

RELATED: Racial Profiling: Black Patient Arrested After Going On Walk Outside Hospital With IV Attached

Members of the community were angered because many often eat in the stations. The eat-in was held on Saturday (Nov. 9) to show support. 

About 30 people gathered during their lunch breaks to eat at the same station where Foster was detained. 

ABC reported Kelly Groth, another participant in the eat-in, passed out breakfast sandwiches, calling the event “Brunch on BART.”

"To me, I have no doubt this guy was treated differently because he is a young Black man," Riemann told ABC.

Foster is considering pressing charges following the arrest. He said the officer approached him, passing others who were drinking coffee and eating bagels, according to Fox 2 KTVU

RELATED: Black Man And His Hispanic Neighbor Arrested In Front Of Their Homes For Looking ‘Suspicious’

BART said in a statement that the incident is being investigated. Janice Li, a member of the BART’s Board of Directors, expressed her frustrations.  

"To see yet another young black man impacted by law enforcement like this is extremely troubling to me," Li told the San Francisco Examiner. "This is a question of what we are putting our BART police towards. We know how to make the system better and safer, and this ain't it."

(Photo: Preeti Pradhan / Getty)

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