Nia Wilson's family files claim against BART after fatal stabbing

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Nia Wilson's family and her attorneys stood next to the 18-year-old's photo during a press conference Friday where they announced they filed a complaint against BART. (KGO-TV)

Nia Wilson's family and her attorneys stood next to the 18-year-old's photo during a press conference Friday where they announced they filed a complaint against BART.

"Nia's death is not some horrific anomaly that occurred in two seconds that nobody could do anything about," said Attorney Robert Arns.

Arns says BART failed to meet the duty of common carriers to provide riders with the highest standard of care.

RELATED: BART stabbing suspect charged with murder, attempted murder

"There's a serious and endemic public safety problem on BART and just about everybody who rides BART knows that," said Arns.

On Sunday, July 22, John Cowell is accused of stabbing Nia Wilson and her sister Letifah in the neck at the MacArthur BART station. Nia died. Sister Tashiya Wilson witnessed the attack. Cowell fled but thanks to a tip from another BART rider was arrested the next day at another BART station.

Arns says there are 22,000 fare evaders on BART daily and that Cowell was one of them.

VIDEO: 'He was wiping off his knife' Sister of Nia Wilson recalls horrific attack
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Letifah Wilson spoke to ABC7 News outside a family member's home about a brutal attack in which BART police say John Cowell stabbed both her and her sister at the MacArthur BART Station. Her 18-year-old sister Nia Wilson passed away at the scene.


"The experts in this case will testify there's a high correlation between fare evasion and violent crime," said Arns.
He also says that two witnesses will testify they had interactions with Cowell in the days and week prior to Nia Wilson's stabbing.

One was a 72-year-old woman at the Civic Center BART station who Arns says Cowell accosted.

"She said I'm not afraid of you and he motioned I'm going to slit your throat," said Arns.

The other person was at MacArthur BART. Arns says she saw Cowell brandishing a knife. Both women attempted to report the incidents.

VIDEO: 'Remember Her': A tribute to Nia Wilson
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Nia Wilson was just 18 years old when she was killed in an unprovoked stabbing at MacArthur BART station in Oakland. Fighting through sorrow, her friends, family, and the community at large are mourning the teenager who brightened the lives of those she knew, and has inspired many who never got the chance.



"There were no station agents," said Arns.

Arns says the woman at MacArthur BART called police to report the incident.

In an emailed statement, a BART spokesperson writes, "We have not yet been served and we can't comment on pending litigation, but we can say that safety is our top priority and we remain committed to do all we can to ensure a safe trip for our riders."

The family's attorneys are demanding BART post up to date information about crime on BART but inside and outside the stations.

"We want this to be called the Nia Wilson crime statistics notice," said Arns.

They are also calling on BART to catch fare evaders in the act and implement polices to deter crime.
CONTINUING COVERAGE ON DEADLY BART STABBING:
Related Topics:
BARTstabbingcrimeinvestigationpolicebart policeNia WilsonlawsuitlegalOakland
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