Woman Says BART Police Handcuffed and Beat Her in Train Station

Nubia Bowe, 19, says she was assaulted by transit police in Oakland, Calif., after she and her friends were wrongly accused of solicitation.

Nubia Bowe
Nubia Bowe Nubia Bowe/Facebook

Oakland, Calif.’s, BART system has become the location of another police injustice, charges one woman.

Nubia Bowe, 19, and two friends were returning home on a BART train the night of March 21 when police accused them of solicitation, Oakland Post News Group reports.

BART police had entered the Lake Merritt station to respond to a complaint that young men were dancing and soliciting money on the train. Bowe and her friends were identified as the offenders by an eyewitness who later recanted.

Other passengers on the train told police that Bowe and her friends were not the culprits, but the group was handcuffed and detained anyway. Bowe was accused of resisting arrest and slammed against a wall.

“Once they pulled me off the train, I was first slammed to the ground and then thrown against the wall. The officers pushed me back down and continued to elbow and knee me in my back. My mouth was full of blood by then. The whole time this was happening, I repeatedly said ‘I am not resisting arrest. You are violating my civil rights,'” said Bowe.

But that’s not all, according to the Oakland Post; Bowe said she was beaten once she reached the county jail at Santa Rita.

“Three male guards and one female guard came in my cell and beat me up,” Bowe told the Oakland Post. “They hit me and then said that I assaulted one of them. So they chained my wrists to my ankles and tipped me over onto the urine-soaked ground so I couldn’t get up. I could tell they were trying to break my spirit.”

Bowe has since been charged with four misdemeanors and was kicked out of her school program. A trial on the BART charges has been set for Aug. 5, with a pretrial hearing on the Santa Rita charges set for May 19.

“This case represents another example of racial profiling by BART police. Although the end isn’t as tragic, it’s similar to the Oscar Grant case. Some person made a complaint about dancing on BART, Nubia and her friends were not the people dancing, and yet she still faces two sets of charges for allegedly fighting with police and resisting arrest,” civil rights attorney Dan Siegel, who represents Bowe, told the Oakland Post.