Over the weekend, I heard rumblings of a black man being harassed by police over a sandwich and thought, “If he ate at Subway, it might be warranted.” But after doing a bit of research, it’s clearly the latest example of overzealous police doing entirely too damn much.
As the story goes, Steve Foster of Concord, Calif., was at the Pleasant Hill BART station minding his black-ass business and indulging in what looks like a breakfast sandwich when he was approached by Officer Asshole.
“I was just up there eating my sandwich waiting for the train to come,” Foster told ABC 7.
That’s when this happened:
In the clip, the cop informs Foster that he was singled out for committing a “violation of California law” by “eating.” And when Foster is understandably flabbergasted at Officer Spongebob Squarehead’s harassment, he’s then told he’s going to jail for “resisting arrest”—to which a justifiably unnerved Foster replies, “I’m not going to jail for eating a fucking sandwich.”
Foster’s girlfriend—who’s recording their interaction on her cellphone—notes that there are stores nearby selling food and that there’s no sign anywhere to be found that states that eating at the BART station is prohibited. But Officer Bootleg Alec Baldwin doesn’t care because he’s too busy calling for backup.
Eventually, Foster was handcuffed.
“I’m definitely upset, mad, a little frustrated, angry about it,” he told ABC 7.
But apparently, BART couldn’t care less. Because if you let them tell it, Foster was actually the one in the wrong—for eating his sandwich.
From ABC 7:
BART says state law prohibits people from eating or drinking in the paid portions of the station. In other words, from the time you enter the turnstiles to the time to exit them at your destination.
BART released a statement on Friday in response.
“He was not arrested. He was cited for eating, which is a violation of state law,” said spokeswoman Alicia Trost.
In response to this foolishness, commuters spent their Saturday morning staging their own “eat-in” protest at the Pleasant Hill BART station.
“My first political awakening was back at a lunch counter in the ’60s,” John Reimann of Oakland told ABC 7. “Now we’re back to ‘eat-ins.”
Foster—who some news outlets have identified as Bill Gluckman—has no intention of pursuing legal recourse. He just wants police to find something better to do than to harass commuters for eating sandwiches.
“I hope they start focusing on stuff that actually matters,” he said. “Like people shooting up dope, hopping the BART, people getting stabbed.”
Thankfully cooler heads prevailed. Because as we are all more than aware, this could’ve ended infinitely worse.