San Francisco News

ACLU eases off lawsuit threat against BART

Tuesday, August 16, 2011
A protester in downtown San Francisco. bart protest Bart Protest FILE - In this July 11, 2011 file photo, a man is pulled off a commuter train at the Civic Center BART station in San Francisco after climbing on top of it during a protest against the July 3 shooting by transit police of Charles Blair Hill.

Two civil liberty groups are now backing away from threats to sue BART over the transit agency's decision to shut down a cell phone network in order to prevent a protest.

The American Civil Liberties Union met with the BART Chief of Police on Monday even as hundreds of protesters gathered on several BART stations and shut them down in San Francisco.

The demonstrators were angry that BART had shut off cell phone service at its Civic Center station on Thursday in order to thwart a protest.

Yesterday's protest shut down four stations -- the Powell, Montgomery, Civic Center and Embarcadero -- for several hours. Police say while the demonstrations inconvenienced passengers, they were peaceful.

No arrests were made.

The FCC says it is looking into BART's decision to shut off cell phone service, but it has not launched a formal investigation.

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