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BART Blacks Out Cellphone Service

SAN FRANCISCO, Aug. 12 (UPI) — Officials with San Francisco’s rapid transit system said Friday cellphone service was shut down during a planned protest, but only to protect the public.

The disruption of cellphone and other wireless communications occurred Thursday in the Bay Area Rapid Transit system, the San Francisco Chronicle reported. Organizers planned to protest the July 3 shooting death of Charles Blair Hill, by police at the City Center station.

“Organizers planning to disrupt BART service on August 11, 2011 stated they would use mobile devices to coordinate their disruptive activities and communicate about the location and number of BART Police,” a statement posted on the BART Web site said. “A civil disturbance during commute times at busy downtown San Francisco stations could lead to platform overcrowding and unsafe conditions for BART customers, employees and demonstrators. BART temporarily interrupted service at select BART stations as one of many tactics to ensure the safety of everyone on the platform.”

The protest was against the shooting of a man carrying a knife in a downtown BART station July 3.

BART officials reported no delays on the system following a rush-hour protest July 12 — one day after the evening commute was derailed by a protest at the Civic Center station.

Police said Hill, a homeless man, was wielding a knife.

UPI - United Press International, Inc.

Since 1907, United Press International (UPI) has been a leading provider of critical information to media outlets, businesses, governments and researchers worldwide.

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