A man cited for eating a breakfast sandwich while on a BART platform has sparked controversy after video of the incident posted on social media has gone viral.
The incident was reported around 8 a.m. Monday at the Pleasant Hill BART station, officials said.
A Facebook profile for Bill Gluckman posted video of the verbal altercation on Friday. The video has garnered hundreds of comments and over a thousand shares, and has since been reposted on other social media platforms.
The man who was cited said he felt singled out.
"You singled me out of all these people," he said.
"You're eating," the officer responded.
"It's against the law."
The video does not capture the start of the confrontation, so it's not clear how the situation escalated so quickly. In the video, the officer can be seen holding onto the man's backpack and repeatedly asking him for ID. The man refuses, and the officer says he will be detained for resisting arrest. The man says he is not resisting.
The man was briefly handcuffed. He was released after identifying himself and issued a citation.
BART issued the following statement about the incident:
"This occurred at around 8am on 11/4 and the man was issued a citation. He was not arrested. He was cited for eating which is a violation of state law. It isn’t just a policy or ordinance, it is penal code.
No matter how you feel about eating on BART, the officer saw someone eating and asked him to stop, when he didn't, he was given a citation.
The individual was not cooperative and was refusing to provide his name which is needed for a citation and is why the engagement lasted as long as it did.
We have sent the video to the Independent Police Auditor who has confirmed he is reviewing."
Several BART riders said that dealing with drugs or violence should be a higher priority than someone eating a sandwich. But riders also said that they have heard the announcements about not eating food on the trains.
"We can be doing better things, like preventing people from defecating or whatever on BART," said Nika Sanchez of Pleasant Hill.
NBC Bay Area is attempting to get in contact with the man who was cited. Updates to come.