Tavis Smiley

*Tavis Smiley’s nationally-syndicated The Tavis Smiley Show from Public Radio International (PRI) obtained an exclusive interview with newly appointed Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) police chief Kenton Rainey since former officer Johannes Mehserle was convicted of involuntary manslaughter July 8.  

Chief Rainey’s appearance was preceded by Smiley’s conversation with John Burris, attorney for the Grant family.  Chief Rainey gave a present overview of the department and the road ahead.

“Morale is low, but personnel are going about their jobs in a very, very professional matter, again understanding  what has transpired and that we have a lot of work we have to do in repairing our image with the community.”

Chief Rainey also explained the procedural changes have been implemented within the department since the New Year’s Day 2009 shooting of Oscar Grant, which was caught on video.

Kenton Rainey

“As I viewed the tape with America when it was first aired, obviously I was very troubled by what I saw.  But since then,  BART to its credit, as an organization before I was hired had two outside organizations come in and take a top-to-bottom review of the department and looked at…did an organizational assessment and made a number, number of recommendations that we’re currently undertaking; like use of force investigation.  All use of force is now reported…have to be reported and reviewed in its entirety by the chief of police.”

“Our personnel now undergo racial profiling training on an annual basis, even though that is more than what the state peace officers standards of training calls for.”

The Tavis Smiley Show is produced by Smiley Radio Properties and is supported in part by the Annie E. Casey Foundation.

The 2-hour program airs weekends on local public radio stations nationwide. For more information, visit www.tavistalks.com