Jury: BART to pay $6.3 million for fatal officer shooting

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OAKLAND — A federal jury has ordered San Francisco area's BART transit system to pay more than $6.3 million to the family of a Northern California man fatally shot by a transit officer following an altercation with another man in 2018.

John Burris, a well-known civil rights lawyer who represents the family of Sahleem Tindle Jr., said Thursday that relatives are pleased with the verdict against Bay Area Rapid Transit.

BART officer Joseph Mateu was on duty Jan. 3 at the West Oakland station when he heard shots fired outside the station. He found Tindle tussling with another man over a handgun and shot him in the back.

The officer had no information regarding who fired the weapon or who was the owner, and he did not seek to get the information.

Alameda County prosecutors in October 2018 declined to file criminal charges against Mateu, saying the officer acted reasonably and had to make a split-second decision.

BART officials did not respond to a request for comment Thursday but spokeswoman Alicia Trost told The Mercury News of San Jose, Calif. in an email that they “respect the process and are reviewing options.”

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