BART Murder Reveals Many Cameras are Decoys

BART suspect (BART via Associated Press)
BART via Associated Press

Wednesday evening’s shooting death aboard a San Francisco-bound BART train has revealed major security flaws within the agency’s surveillance system.

It turns out nearly 76 percent of cameras installed throughout the BART station and on its trains are actually decoys that are incapable of recording incidents, and some of the actual cameras are broken, which adds to the challenge of solving crimes.

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, a walk through the length of seven BART trains on Wednesday revealed that 173 of 228 cameras on the cars appeared to be dummies or decoys, which were installed in an attempt to deter criminals without having to invest funds in surveillance for soon-to-be junked cars.

Wednesday’s shooting death reportedly occurred around 7:40 p.m. as the train pulled into the the West Oakland Station when a male shot another male passenger. Attempts to save the man, who police speculate was between 19 and 25 years old, were unsuccessful. The victim has yet to be identified. He reportedly had a knife on him at the time he was shot and the relationship, if any, between the men is unknown, as is the motive for the shooting.

A similar dilemma was faced during the 2009 New Year’s Day death of Oscar Grant, who was shot and killed by a BART police officer. None of the cameras on the train had recorded the incident.

A spokeswoman for the agency told the Chronicle that working cameras will be on every car in BART’s new fleet, which are slated to arrive between 2017 and 20121.

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