Ravenous riders flooded SF's Embarcadero Station yesterday to snack and protest the fact that a man was handcuffed for literally eating a breakfast sandwich on BART's Pleasant Hill platform earlier in the week; it was a modern-day “eat-in,” if you will.
As SFist reported on before – the story first broke by ABC 7 – Steven Foster, a black man who was clearly singled-out, was munching on a McDonald’s breakfeast sandwich Monday morning when a Pleasant Hill BART police officer by the name of D. McCormick informed him of his illegal doing: Satiating himself whilst waiting for a train on the platform. The now-viral confrontation has only added to the rapid transit organization’s history of blatantly racist behavior and is now sparking tongue-in-cheek outrage.
Like, for example, yesterday’s eat-in.
"I've got my lunch here, it's very threatening as you can see," said San Franciscan JJ Naughton to ABC 7 at the Embarcadero BART Station where (spoiler alert!) eating still isn’t allowed.
According to BART, certain state laws forbid people from eating or drinking in the paid portions of the stations, thus why Foster was handcuffed and cited for his grave injustice toward society.
"My first political awakening was back at a lunch counter in the '60s, now we're back to 'eat-ins," answered John Reimann from Oakland to the news station.
The brainchild of nonprofit policy advisor Kelly Groth and District 8 BART Director Janice Li, the “Brunch on Bart” rally brought together dozens of riders to indulge in snacks, pastries, whathaveyou on the platform to peacefully protest the prior cringe-worthy altercation for nearly two hours. All in all, ABC 7 estimated that about 30 people gathered for lunch to protest the recent snafu.
“I continually see police overstepping their power on BART,” said Groth to the SF Examiner, she a first-hand witness to the 2009 BART police fatal shooting of 22-year-old Oscar Grant. “Now it’s time to put an end to it.”
"People should be able to eat on the platform without getting harassed," added Groth.
Foster, who lives in Concord, talked to ABC 7 about the November 4 incident in which he was detained. And even though BART released a statement on Foster citing that he was initially just ticketed for eating the said sandwich, the public transit organization added he was later detained after refusing to cooperate with on-site law enforcement.
"I'm definitely upset, mad, a little frustrated and angry about it," said Foster.
If you’re infuriated and enraged at the notion of being handcuffed and fined for calorie consumption at any one BART platform, Li recommends contacting the BART’s Board of Directions and/or pen a public comment that’ll be given at the boards 9 am meeting on the 21st.
Also, next week’s aptly named Eat a McMuffin on BART: They Can't Stop Us All happening at the Pleasant Hill BART station is already growing legs on Facebook, with over 440 people marked as “going.”
Need a refresher on the whole moment? Watch (or re-watch) the cellphone-taken video Foster posted to his Facebook, below:
Image: Twitter via @leahpeah91