Imagine – you’ve dragged yourself out of bed to head to work. You’ve got just enough time today to stop and get a breakfast sandwich, to treat yourself because it’s the start of another workday and you’re already over it.
Suddenly, a cop is slapping cuffs on you for – you guessed it, eating your sandwich while you wait for the train. In America, this isn’t too hard to imagine, because it happened to Steve Foster in Concord, CA.
Steve was minding his business, waiting for the train at the Pleasant Hill BART station and devouring his breakfast. That’s when an officer approached him and told him he was “illegally eating.”
Cop in California legit tried to arrest a black man bc he was “illegally eating.”😳— Qasim Rashid for Congress (@QasimRashid) November 10, 2019
My mind can’t even begin to comprehend the arrogance needed to justify this nonsense
The officer tells Steve that he was committing a “violation of California law” by simply just eating. The officer appears to have grabbed his backpack, while Steve holds the sandwich in his other hand. Luckily for Steve, his girlfriend was nearby and recording the interaction as well. According to ABC7:
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.
“I’m not going to jail for eating a fucking sandwich,” Steve is overheard saying. Even Steve’s girlfriend chimed in, telling the officer that there are food stores nearby and no signs anywhere that eating at the BART station is prohibited. It doesn’t matter, as the officer calls backup and eventually cuffs Foster.
In protest, the community and other riders joined in after the incident, showing their solidarity by staging an “eat-in” at the BART station.
Foster has no intention of pursuing legal recourse – but wants the police to find something better to do other than harass people waiting on a train platform for eating. “I hope they start focusing on stuff that actually matters,” he said. “Like people shooting up dope, hopping the BART, people getting stabbed.”