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BART Frustrated By Pace Of Investigation Into Fatal Police Shooting

OAKLAND (KCBS) - With many questions still unanswered, some Bay Area Rapid Transit directors are worried about the pace of an investigation into a fatal officer-involved shooting at Civic Center Station.

The July 3 incident when police shot and killed a man on the platform who they say was armed with a bottle and knives stoked a smoldering controversy over BART police procedures brought on by the 2009 killing of Oscar Grant.

KCBS' Bob Melrose Reports:

Director James Fang said one of the lessons from the Grant shooting is "to get in front" of the situation and quickly release information to the public.

Board president Bob Franklin said, "There's frustration in the amount of time it takes."

BART Police Chief Kenton Rainey said the investigation into the death of 45-year-old Charles Hill is taking time because authorities are still interviewing witnesses to the shooting.

He said 40 witnesses have been identified, but only about 20 have been interviewed so far.

The team from the San Francisco Police Department handling the investigation has not issued a timeline for how it will proceed.

Investigators have said they would make some kind of report to San Francisco Police Chief Greg Suhr within 45 days, although it's not clear whether that document will become public.

Hill's death sparked an outcry that led to about 100 demonstrators disrupting service at the Civic Center station and two other San Francisco stations during the evening commute on Monday.

Richard Kales, a real estate agent from San Mateo who works in San Francisco, spoke at Thursday's board of directors meeting.

Kales said he has "the utmost empathy" for Hill but that he thinks Monday's protest was conducted by "reactionary groups and anarchists who are disrupting the public's right to get from point A to point B."

He said he thinks the protesters' tactics on Monday have "caused animosity" among most BART riders.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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