661 Washington Street
Oakland, CA 94607
BART OFFICERS & SANTA RITA SHERIFFS TAG-TEAM BATTERY OF NUBIA BOWE, A 19-YEAR OLD AFRICAN-AMERICAN WOMAN
One might think that based on the sordid history and negative press surrounding Oakland’s law enforcement activity, officers would think twice before using excessive force on unarmed citizens.
Unfortunately, this is not the case for many black and brown youth who are overly scrutinized and policed simply for existing in the skin in which they were born, nor was it the case for Nubia Bowe on Friday, March 21, 2014. On this evening, officers responded to a complaint of two young performers soliciting for money on the train. Two male passengers, and friends of Bowe, were approached by officers at the Lake Merritt station, with a witness who identified the two young men as the guilty suspects. The men were instructed by the officers to get off the train for questioning. Some of the train’s passengers stood up for the youth, telling the officers that young people they were looking for had already gotten off the train at the West Oakland station and that these three riders had not been engaged in the solicitation of passengers.
Bowe, a 19-year-old African American female and full-time student of a local security-training program, repeatedly iterated the group’s innocence, telling the officers that they were in violation of the young men’s rights. This “challenge”, as well as mounting vocal pressure from other BART riders, agitated the officers who forcibly removed Bowe from the train. One officer threw the 5’0” tall, 105 pound teen into the platform and repeatedly “roughed her up” according to one passenger. “They kept slamming her around..her mouth was full of blood” as she was ushered by her attackers to the Lake Merritt station holding cell in preparation for transport to Santa Rita County Jail on one felony and three misdemeanor charges.
Bowe’s first experience with the law quickly intensified at Santa Rita where she was taunted, battered, and denied serious medical care, as well as the usage of phone privileges by deputies at the County Jail; a jail whose condition is reported to be torturous in-and-of itself. “Three male guards and one female guard came in my cell and beat me up. They hit me then said that I assaulted one of them..they chained my wrists to my ankles and tipped me over onto the urine-soaked ground so I couldn’t get up. I could tell they were trying to break my spirit” says Bowe about the four-night stay that resulted in two additional arrest charges being tacked to her quickly growing rap sheet.
Though the felony charge has been dropped to a misdemeanor, Nubia is not yet out of the woods. As a result of the felony arrest, she was kicked out of her training program at the Treasure Island Job Corp where she was only 2 months away from graduation; she is facing criminal charges that can potentially impact the rest of her life, and she will forever have to deal with the trauma of her experiences.
Nubia’s upcoming court dates are: Mon., April 21 at 9 a.m. at the Gale-Schenone Hall of Justice, Dept. 701 located at 5672 Stoneridge Drive in Pleasanton & Wed., April 23 at 9 a.m. at the Wiley W. Manuel Courthouse, Dept. 104 at 661 Washington Street in Oakland. Come to the courthouse to support Nubia in her uncompromising fight for justice and her future.