Often times one must deal with laws that seem unnecessary, but they are nevertheless laws that must be obeyed by the public. Such is the case of 31-year-old Steve Foster, who was detained for eating a breakfast sandwich while waiting for a train at a Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) station.


While most people would see Foster’s actions as harmless, California state law forbids people from eating at BART stations. When a police officer saw Foster eating the sandwich, he tried to issue the commuter a citation, which led to an unfortunate confrontation.



Foster refused to cooperate with the officer, questioning why he was being singled out for simply enjoying his breakfast. Later reports indicate that the officer was looking for a d*runk person when he spotted Foster according to KTVU. As the situation escalated, Foster got angrier with the officer as the officer informed him that he was being detained for refusing to provide law enforcement officials with his identification. The officer grabbed Foster’s backpack as he th*reatened the commuter with j*ail time, much to Foster’s consternation. When Foster began resisting a*rrest and cursing at the police officer, the officer handc*uffed him.



News of Foster being handc*uffed for eating a breakfast sandwich was met with much displeasure from commuters. While there are multiple signs near the platform informing riders that eating was prohibited in the area, most see the officer’s actions as excessive and unnecessary. Riders became so upset by the officer’s actions that they initiated protests and “eat ins” on the platform according to ABC7.



Following the public’s reaction, Bob Powers, general manager for BART, released a press statement as per ABC7 apologizing to Foster. Although Powers points out that eating on BART platforms is prohibited as it ensures the cleanliness of rail stations, Powers feels that the officer behaved inappropriately in dealing with such a minor infraction. Powers also apologized for anyone who was offended by the officer’s conduct.



Despite the apology, it appears that it might be too little too late. Soon after the incident, Foster hired civil rights attorney John Burris to represent him in a racial discrimination lawsuit against BART. "I'm not going to j*ail for eating a [...] sandwich," said Foster to ABC7. Thus far, neither Powers nor any other officials at BART have responded to Foster’s d*iscrimination claim.




What do you think of how Foster was detained for eating a sandwich on the BART platform? Do you think that the officer was justified in the way he treated Foster or did he overreact?



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