Franklin Zimring and Charles Weisselberg Weigh in on BART Shooting

Oakland Tribune, January 15, 2009 by Katy Murphy

“Are police officers charged with assault and sexual assault and homicide crimes? The answer is yes. Cops are people, too,” said Frank Zimring, a law professor at UC Berkeley. But, he said, murder is so rarely charged as a result of an on-duty use of deadly force because there’s usually “a palpable issue of risk” to the arresting officers or bystanders…. “The officer hasn’t told his side of the story, but when he does, there isn’t going to be an element of that risk,” he said.

Charles Weisselberg, also a UC Berkeley law professor, said it was too soon for him to weigh in on the murder charge, especially without having seen the witness statements and other evidence presented to Alameda County District Attorney Tom Orloff. “I find it really hard from the videos to determine what’s going on,” he said.