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“A BART police officer was fatally shot by a department colleague Tuesday afternoon during a probation check in the East Bay, according to the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office,” reports. “BART officer Tom Smith [now deceased] and several other officers had forced their way inside one of the units during a probation check when the shooting occurred. The subject of the search was on probation for crimes committed on BART property and was not at the residence at the time of the incident. Both officers were wearing bullet-proof vests, according to officials. Alameda County sheriff’s Sgt. J.D. Nelson said he assumes that the officers had their guns drawn as they entered the apartment but that the details of how or why the officer’s gun went off remain unclear.” Went off. Yeah. Sure.

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  1. This article creates troubling questions.

    One:why does a rapid transit agency have a SWAT unit? Next you’ll tell me the local Chevy dealer has a “Tactical Response Unit”.

    Two:why is said SWAT unit so poorly trained that an ND happened to start with?

  2. “…details of how or why the officer’s gun went off remain unclear.”

    Because he had his finger on the trigger and pulled? I’m no physicist but that’s my guess.

  3. I suspect it “went off” because someone pulled the trigger. I am relatively new to firearms, so that is just a wild guess.

  4. J.D. Nelson. Ain’t he the guy that’s always helping the mythbusters at the explosives range behind Santa Rita?

  5. WAIT! Why are transit cops doing on a probation check, where they have no authority? This sounds like murder one to me, like in Waco. In one of the Waco footages, you can see a bunch of Feds climbing in an upstairs window. The first Feeb goes through the window, and immediately after, the second Feeb uses a submachine gun to sweep the room with gunfire, from outside, before entering. It was clearly with intention to kill the first Feeb; there’s no alternative explanation!

    • As a matter of fact it does. all gun deaths, good shoot, bad shoot,criminal and accidental go into the fbi database, where most pro/anti gun groups pick their data from.

  6. maybe this is why M&P and Ruger are pulling out of the Cali market? Damn guns just going off – real liabiity issue. or not

  7. the gun “went off” because the officer for some reason decided to point his gun at his partner then made the genius decision to pull the trigger. ladies and gents these are the only people in the bay area that are allowed to carry guns.

  8. Please. An officer died. That’s not cool. (Anyone dying is not cool..) BART has property it owns and BART police have full jurisdiction on those properties. Think of the officer that just killed his brother.

    • Yes, think of the utter nonsensical death – as a direct result caused by proliferation of violent & unnecessary raids by paramilitary goons. A PROBATION CHECK!? REALLY?!?!?

      • From the article.
        “The shooting occurred during a probation check after Smith and several other officers made a forced entry into an apartment. It is remains unclear when or how the officer’s gun discharged, wounding Smith”.

        Just kick in apartment doors and start shooting?

    • Why is Bart a landlord now….seriously after a few years as a subject of the bay area gulag Bart makes the soprano look like choir boys

    • “(Anyone dying is not cool..)”

      Really? John Wayne Gacy dying is “not cool”? Jeffrey Dahmer dying is “not cool”? Thine heart bleedeth liberally….

    • Please. An officer died. That’s not cool. (Anyone dying is not cool..)

      Deaths of tyrants and fascists are cool…. and morally correct.
      Now let’s continue the discussion on how to stop the unconstitutional war that SWAT teams are waging on the American public.

      • I appreciate that. You made me seem MOR. 🙂

        Not really. I’m still the one they love to come after. And I love failing to set them straight. It’s all about the journey.

    • Berry, I understand the sentiment, but if the dead guy was his brother, the family’s dysfunctional.

      If we so much as read a mainstream newspaper or watch the news, we are slapped every other day by Bloomberg ladies and professors of literary theory insisting only cops should carry guns, and only they are trained. This is a pro-2nd-Amendment-oriented web site. Most of us know better. At least speaking for myself, I’m not anti-cop. I’m anti-ignorance and, like others, somewhat privately, I want to just tie the anti-gun person to a chair and make them read this story, watch the report, and then tell me who is safe with their weapon, and why they believed what they did.

      There is no way a competent person who carries a gun every day as a requirement of his work accidentally fires his weapon when breaking into an unoccupied dwelling. Brother? Internal Affairs knows all about the brother bit.

    • Officers are not “brothers”. They are individual employees of a government. They get up every morning and put on a gun and a bulletproof vest and you want us to be “respectful” about them being killed by each other? How about you show more respect for the innocent lives these assassins take each and every week? How about you waking up and understanding that Police Officers are NOT HUMAN. They do not interact socially with the general population, they do not operate by moral order, they do not operate with emotion, they do not operate with remorse, and they do not operate with equality of man in mind. They are not “protecting and serving”…but rather “creating and establishing fear”. Get your head out of your arse and look around…these are not cops…they are licensed killers.

      • Hey Andrew; I’m the first one to say Swat raids are an abomanation. Any cop that gets shot, whether by the home owner or by a fellow officer, breaking down the door of a persons castle without showing a warrant and giving the person a chance to agree to allow them in; whether they are home or not, well, like they say, Karma is a B—tch. And I agree, there are cops like you describe, But, not ALL cops are as you describe.

        Sheriffs as a group have come out all across the nation saying they won’t enforce laws against the second amendment. All the Sheriffs dept. except one here in New Mexico have publically stated the same. There are cops that I know that truly support the second amendment. Demonizing all the cops, just isn’t based on fact.

        • Oh no, don’t go there. When something like this happens, local history shows that it’s NEVER the first time something like this occurred…and nobody will ever do anything about it. Including all those wonderful, peace loving, community protecting “good” cops. Kelly Thompson gets beaten to death in Fullerton, CA. First time in generations that a Fullerton cop has beaten somebody up for anything, right? Sure. During and after all the other incidents, where were the “good” cops, and what were they doing to make sure it never happened again? Silent. Interestingly enough, where are all the “good” cops now? Fascinatingly, still silent.

    • What’s not cool is a militarized police force acting illegally in an area that has been disarmed illegally. These police don’t need SWAT teams if infact that is what they were (sure behaved like one). Too many doors getting kicked in lately in the land of the free in my opinion. They should have never been there most likely. It’s called tyranny. It happens on large and small scales.

  9. What are the odds that the person raided will be charged with this, the way that the person missed by police when they hit the bystanders was charged with that?

  10. So much WhiskeyTangoFoxtrot going on with this story… They raided his apartment with weapons drawn for a probation check? Wow. I mean, doesn’t the BART SWAT Team do thousands of those each month? . Dumbasses.

      • I kind of think they knew that. That’s the easiest sort of “show” raid – when your target’s already in jail.

        Things have to to a dramatic and sad pass. They just want us to know they’re the boss, no matter how awful their behavior. I REJECT THIS. It’s the behavior of BULLIES.

    • It’s a law enforcement action to check on someone that has willingly given up their 4th Amendment Rights for liberty from incarceration. The actions fall under the executive branch of the government. Why BART is even involved in this activity is beyond me. Both the DOT and DOJ are part of the Executive Branch…but they are different Departments.

  11. For a freaking probation check…

    I got a speeding ticket a couple of years ago, I wonder when the SWAT team will be by to chat.

    • So sorry for you, man… you need a big, wooden bar behind your door. Other than that, you need to turn yourself in, now!

  12. This points to the fact that TRAINING is time consuming and costly. If these BART guys train, my guess is it is OVERTIME. BART does not want to pay OT but they want to have RAMBOZO’s.

    Why invade a home or business when you can pick up your perp as they walk down the street or walk to the car? Why risk life and/or injury when they don’t know what is behind the door or wall? I KNOW!!! Does not look cool!

    The problem with all bureaucracies is they do not train enough. Also since they call themselves SWAT, THEY MUST BE swat.

    I shoot IDPA every month and also shoot at an outdoor range once a month too. Probably 300 rounds or more total. Put your finger on the trigger during IDPA and not have a target legitimately in sight and you lose points, swing your firearm close to anyone else and you are asked to leave. I’ve only seen one deputy sheriff at IDPA on his own time. . . every month.

    These guys do not understand (lack of training) they must keep their fingers off the trigger . . . . until ready to shoot at a target they want to destroy.

    I honestly fear cops who have guns drawn, they usually do not do well.

    Just sayin’

    • I asked before, and I’ll ask again: What are TRANSIT COPS doing enforcing probation matters?

      I still don’t have one answer for that. Got something? Say something.

      • because Oakland… Techincally, I think the story is showing that it was BART probation matters in their juristiction (and the other agencies don’t do that..) Somewhere out there someone thought it would be a great idea for BART to have their own police department. So they do. And they’ll shoot you too.

        • Hasn’t Oakland PD recently had a personnel cutback? Perhaps the BART cops were getting in some “fill-in-around-the-edges” time.

        • Police I can understand. It’s pretty common. But SWAT? Does the Independent Grocers’ Association also have a SWAT team>

    • The problem with all bureaucracies is they are ultra kewel L33t operator as Fsck legends in their own mind.
      Fixed it for you.

  13. With LEOs so incompetent as to defy historical parallel, it’s little wonder that rank and file Californians fear guns in supposedly less-skilled hands.


  14. Sorry.

    My GAF meter must be broken.

    Transit police have a SWAT team? A SWAT team that can’t keep its booger pickers off the bang switches?

    Wow. How are they going to charge that poor apartment dweller for this?

    Eh, they probably blamed the dog and shot it afterwards.

    Aren’t these the mopes who shot the kid in the back as he was handcuffed a couple of years ago?


    • He wasn’t just handcuffed. He was FACE DOWN on the pavement! The BART cop said he thought is was his taser he pulled and fired. No lie. As if there’s any reason to tase a man handcuffed, face down on the pavement.

      Some of you here are LEOs; have you ever mistaken your sidearm for a TASER?

      • Never.
        And before you pulled the taser trigger, training kicked in and you yelled “Taser” 3 times, so as to lessen sympathetic shooting.

        • You know, I’ve known those details of that incident for a while now and for some reason I’d never quite put them together in that light before.

          Supposedly there was an issue of the officers having to share utility belts, and since no officer had their own belt they could arrange to their liking they had to make due with non-optimal configurations.

          As I type it now, I can’t hardly believe I fell for the official line like that. Even if those details are true, there’s nothing stopping an officer from re arranging things on his belt (I assume).

          I’ve always felt that the department in question should be held liable for not sufficiently training their officers. What a big, fat, hairy mess.

        • I’d also give good odds that you’ve never TASEd someone just for the fun of it, which is the only “reason” to give field ECT to someone who is cuffed, face-down and quiescent.

          We’ve come to accept, expect and even condone brutality to such an extent that noone ever said “Hey! He was committing unapproved battery, a felony in that jurisdiction, and a homicide occurred during the commission of said felony. String him up!”

          Not good. Not at all. No siree.

  15. Why are BART police doing probation checks??? Sad that an officer died but this whole situation has so many wrong things! Why does a transit agency need a SWAT team? I can see an agency like the NY/NJ Port Authority because they patrol the transit systems, bridges, tunnels, ports and airports.

  16. No matter what, it was poor weapons handling. I don’t care who got shot or who did the shooting, the weapon was NOT pointed in a safe direction and the shooters finger was not properly indexed and was on the trigger.
    It’s all about training training training. If the finger is not indexed and is on the trigger and the officer falls or is startled, they WILL pull the trigger.

    • …and there isn’t a competent LEO who hasn’t known since day two or three to keep his finger indexed, and why he must. And yet, if one starts to think “I’ll be damned if that punk (whom he doesn’t actually know) is going to shoot me first. I’m going in 1/100th of a second from firing!”…then all the bad stuff happens, but usually to the person who was inside. And that’s an indulgent reading of what happened.

      I appreciate my local PD more everyday. It’s the small things, like they don’t shoot dogs, me, or each other.

    • Bay Area Rapid Transit. They run a series of buses and trains in the SF/Oakland/etc bay area.

        • It’s maybe a slight misnomer. The trains ARE rapid transit, pretty much, especially when you get out into the North Bay.

      • Clarification.. BART does trains… you know, like the subway. AC Transit does the bus, and over in SF, the SF MTA does the bus and light rail (aka, the MUNI)…

        • Do AC Transit and SF MTA also have SWAT teams? What’s next, the parking division?

        • Near as I can tell AC transit just relies on the local cops in whatever city they’re routed thru. I don’t believe they have any sworn officers.

    • You could have looked it up in ten seconds, but I will spare you the unnecessary toil:
      Bay Area Rapid Transit. Now you can ask again.

    • Yes we are sure. BART is the subway system in San Francisco and up and down the peninsula as well as into the east bay, where Oakland and Alameda are.

        • Looks like they are building a new one in beryessa (not the lake) just on SJ’s north side. Short of that it’s Fremont in the east bay (fairly far south) and Millbrae on the peninsula (barely out of San Francisco).

          From San Francisco or Oakland down to San Jose is around 50 miles.

          This is just from a search on Google maps. When I’m in the bay I’m driving. It’s easier with tools in the trunk.

  17. Let me get this straight. Being from St. Lou, we ain’ts got no swat for the metro bus or train. We have private security guards who wear their britches down around their ass like the miscreants we are to be protected from, yeah right. However, we don’t have Frisco Area Railway Transportation (FART) cops to foul things up. Just infamous East St. Louis.
    If all goes right for the Keystone cowboys, they will find a way to rescind the poor guy’s probation for not being at home with a target on his chest and bent over in preparation for a jack boot or two.

    • 🙂 Good luck in St. Louis; be careful.

      In the August ’11, I was through your town, moving back east. When we crossed over to the IL side, to ESL, I remarked on how much it resembles Southside Richmond. We kept on through.

      Night before, we slept in St. Louis Lakes. Not terrible.

    • Umm, MetroLink cops are POST-certified and sworn. They have the same arrest powers as any other copper – fortunately they are kept in their place, and aren’t running around willy-nilly with a SWAT team.

      There are some Paul Blarts running around checking tickets, but actual Metro cops are real cops.

  18. Sydney trains used to have transit cops but they had a reputation more for creating trouble than preventing it. Their favourite tricks included asking for your ticket to inspect it, pocketing the ticket, and then asking for your ticket. The TC would deny having your ticket and charge you for travelling without a valid ticket. If you protested, you received another ticket for abusive language. They would travel in packs of 4 and pick on solo travelers. One pack tried to declare my valid ticket invalid because they didn’t recognize the date stamp from the private bus company. I said we can check at the next stop and I will call the police to press charges for false arrest, illegal detention, assault (2 of 4 had their hands on their batons ready to “suppress resistance”), theft of my valid ticket (@ $52 each, they are expensive), etc. They backed off but were not happy.

    After lots of complaints, the transit police were disbanded as a public embarrassment and replaced by ordinary police, who were much more effective.

  19. After watching an innocent human be assassinated by this agency and knowing that this action was taken to support a “probation agency” somehow tied to a public transportation agency…my spidey-senses go up and I wonder who is financing this division of the agency and if tax-payers know that the SFBRTD are participating in law enforcement actions. The Transportation division of a municipality and the Executive Branch of the government are two entirely different branches. Why would one arm be in the other?

    Regardless…a dead a assassin is one less that can assassinate another innocent human.

  20. The article now specifies that not only was the suspect whose apartment it was absent at the time, but they knew he was not at home because they already had him in custody.

  21. The blood of this poor guy is in the hands of the financing agency. You don’t think for a minute that all these agencies now have paramilitary SWAT teams on their own dime do you? What do you think all those millions of rounds were bought for?

  22. Set up an empty house with some mannikins in prepper drag, and call the DEA and report a crack deal, call the ATF and tell them you saw guns, and call the DHS and tell them you’ve found a terrorist cell, then sit back and watch the show!

    • Have cameras all over the house, live web feed. Wait for them to start shooting one another… then call the police! 😉

  23. The resident better be glad he wasn’t there. If he was home, he would have shot the officer with a previously confiscated firearm (drop gun), then the officer would have had to kill him also.

    Sometimes the article in the paper gives the correct end result, just not the correct details and timeline.

  24. Sounds like a little inter dept squabble settled in the chaos of another door kicking frenzy. Maybe JBT A got too chummy with JBT B’s wife at the Xmas party?

  25. Over in Tennesse, there was a raid on a single wide trailer. The current sheriff’s son was one deputy. The other deputy was running for sheriff at the time. They both busted into the trailer, you guessed it.

    During the confusion, the deputy running for sheriff was killed by the other deputy who was the current sheriffs son.

    If you haven’t been in a trailer, they are usually one big kitchen/dining/den and 2 bedrooms down a single hallway.

  26. The headline is a little misleading, no SWAT or tac team involved from anything I’ve read.

    Just regular officers.

  27. I do feel sorry for the family of the officer who died, and for the guy who shot him. No matter what legal implications come from it, his life is destroyed. Killing people who need to die is traumatic, I can’t imagine living with killing someone on accident.

    The lesson learned (not that the powers that be will learn it) is that we need to knock it off with the SWAT crap unless you’re trying to arrest Pablo Escobar. When you’re doing a probation check, knock on the dude’s damn door and talk to him like a normal human being. If he’s not home, or doesn’t answer the door, sit outside and wait for him. He’s got to come and go sometime. We’re talking about a guy who’s on probation for stealing stuff in the subway, not a guy on probation for building a nuclear weapon in his basement or running the Gambino Family.

  28. Did we ever confirm how or why Adam Lanza’s gun/s “went off”? Oh, I forgot, the NRA did it. end/sarc.

  29. Why is no one blaming the gun? The Glock (I assume) went off…Isn’t that the usual response?

  30. Updates needed. They just did a press conf. and said they knew suspect was not home, they were all plain clothes cops non with uniforms and went in looking for a stolen laptop. This is bizarre.

    • It’s getting better all the time.

      …The chief said the officers did know that the suspect was already in custody, but they didn’t know for sure if the apartment was empty. The door was unlocked when they went and they had guns drawn and they thought possibly someone could be there.

      Investigators have not explained why Smith was shot. They will still need to come up with a timeline and a reenactment.

      I think “come up with” is exactly the proper term to use, even though it surely was accidental on the reporter’s part. Freudian slip?

  31. The ONLY “good cop” I ever met was DEAD. Better THEM than US. Shoot Mehserle and Pirone next. Luck tha Fopice. What goes around comes around. I wonder if they handcuffed the DEAD PIG after they shot him LIKE OSCAR GRANT. Oscar Grant is LAUGHING HIS ASS OFF IN HEAVEN RIGHT NOW. Where is the shooter going to go on his PAID VACATION ?

  32. Chances are the DA and PD will now (if they haven’t already) charge the suspected robber with 2nd degree murder, b/c that makes sense in CA.

    As far as all the LEO hate on here, you guys are out of your minds. Sure, there are some bad cops, I don’t deny that one bit, but I’ve met and interacted with a lot of good guys in blue as well. Or continue with your broad sweeping brush of idiocy, be exactly like an anti, “All gun owners are baby killers.”

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