Apparently, it is illegal to eat on or around a public transit facility in California. I looked it up, it’s actually a violation of state penal code section 640(b)(1) which allows transit agencies to prohibit eating or drinking on trains and in stations. The maximum penalty for a first-time violation is $250 or 48 hours of community service.
After being called to the platform after reports of a drunk woman, the officer, identified in the video below as D. McCormick, approached a man on the platform of BART (Bay Area Transit System) and detained him after he refused to stop eating.
According to some reports, the officer said he approached the man and asked him to stop eating and informed him that it was a violation of state law to do so. The man refused, so the officer called for backup and detained him.
Marc Lamont Hill posted the video asking the question, “how can anybody defend this?” Well, considering the man was breaking the law — no matter how dumb you may think the law is — and he refused to comply with the authority who asked him to comply with the law, I think it’s quite simple to defend.
You break the law, you face the civil penalty for it — simple as that.
Of course, this has already been turned into a white officer / black man incident where it has become to advance the narrative of racism. The man asked why he was singled out among all the other people in the area. The officer responded, “you’re eating, it’s illegal.”
Believing that a law is stupid does not give you the freedom to break it. If you don’t like the law, petition the legislature or the courts to have it changed. But if you’re approached by an agent of law enforcement, don’t be surprised when he enforces the law.