BART Police Chief Gary Gee retires

Former BART police chief Gary Gee (ABC7)

December 30, 2009 11:56:58 PM PST
BART Police Chief Gary Gee has spent nearly 37 years on the force, but it is what happened on the Fruitvale station platform last New Year's that will forever be his legacy.

"If that is to be my legacy to the public, so be it," Gee told ABC7 during an interview on his last day. "But I will leave here proud of the job that I've done and what I've contributed to this organization."

Gee announced his retirement this summer shortly before the release of a scathing report that blasted BART leadership for the New Year's Day shooting death of passenger Oscar Grant. Former officer Johannes Mehserle is now awaiting trial for Grant's murder. His lawyers have argued that Mehserle meant to fire his Taser, but mistakenly grabbed his gun and shot Grant in the back.

Gee conceded mistakes were made on the platform that night, but because of ongoing litigation, he refused to say what those mistakes were.

Cell phone video taken by BART passengers captured the shooting and showed a chaotic scene for both passengers and officers. But Gee said those officers were fully prepared for what they faced.

"We've been accused and criticized for not being properly trained," he said. "If you've never worked a New Year's here, you don't know how crazy it is."

Former Berkeley Police Chief Daschel Butler will serve as BART's interim police chief while the agency conducts a national search for a permanent replacement.


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