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Bay Area Rapid Transit Police Shooting

This is a discussion on Bay Area Rapid Transit Police Shooting within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Main Category category; First, let me say that every officer that I have ever seen, including my former self, carried their Taser cross ...

  1. #11
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    Unhappy Sorry, Barth, I have to disagree......

    First, let me say that every officer that I have ever seen, including my former self, carried their Taser cross draw on the weak hand side. There is also no mistaking the grip of a Taser with the grip of a handgun (intentionally so).

    From what I could see, and from similar arrests with which I have been involved, it appears that the officers had decided to handcuff the individual. In the video they took an individual who appeared to be compliant and placed him face down on the walkway. Now, as most of you who have participated in CIT (crisis intervention training) and PATH training (practical and tactical handcuffing) know, this is the position in which the handcuffer (in this case the police officer) has the most control. Unfortunately, even though the individual appears to be compliant, one of the officers kneels on his neck, while the other officer appears to be pushing his arms TOO FAR up. Now for some of you, this is just "how it is done". For those of you who are not as familiar with the LE world, this is done for one or more of the following reasons:

    1) He/She had a smart mouth and needed a lesson.
    2) When the individual struggles, as we ALL would when our arms are pushed that far above our backs (the body takes over), we can tack on "resisting arrest". Believe it or not, my PATH trainer in the department (not at academy) explained just like that.
    3) The suspect, realizing that they are just about to lose their liberty, has a last minute change of heart. This almost NEVER happens when they are compliant in the face down posture. If they intend to resist, they do it BEFORE they are face down.

    Now, I will say that it appears to be stupidity on the Officers part, not an intentional execution. I believe that he pulled his handgun because he was nervous about the onlookers. Crowds have, on occasion, turned ugly while arrests are being attempted. Officers have been interfered with, injured, and even killed by crowds. It looks as if, when he was struggling to stand up, he inadvertently squeezed the trigger. One of those classic ND's (non-intentional discharges) about which TatttedUpBoy is always talking. As young as he is, Tatted already knows this cardinal rule; NEVER place your finger in the trigger gaurd until you are ready to fire.

    GPBarth stated "And if this guy had not been a participant in the melee, he'd still be alive."

    I really don't think that this is a fair statement. Number one, we don't know that he WAS a participant. Number two, if he was, was he defending himself as we all on this forum claim to believe that every American has a right to do? In my opinion, this in an accident with factors of negligence that will demand some justice. From the evidence presented, this officer is guilty of manslaughter. It sucks, but "thems the breaks". If you drive drunk and kill a family, even though you didn't do so intentionally, you are still responsible. If San Fran wasn't such an anti-gunners haven, perhaps the police would have more opportunity to practice safe gun handling. A finger inside the trigger guard before firing commencement would have gotten the attention of most shooters at the local range, cops or not.

    As far as equipment, I think that Glockster20 has the right idea about the equipment belt. I always felt like I was walking in an ineertube with my equipment belt on. I found that, with a Taser, I no longer needed the (often inadequate) threat of OC spray or a baton (hear the old-timers howl?). I think that, with a little more free real-estate on the belt, a container with a few "plasticuffs" would fit in nicely, and they would have been able to cuff the young man much earlier in the incident.

    All that said, I still have an issue with aggressive police officers. This is still the U.S., and citizens still have rights, no matter where they live. I look at some of the comments, and I wonder if it would be different if it were a white guy. Or how about if it was YOUR son? How about YOUR DAUGHTER? Any of you guys ever get into a fight when you were in your late teens/early twenties? No matter what, it is incumbent upon the police to remain calm and professional, ESPECIALLY when those around them are not.

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    Default Early Morning Update

    Quote Originally Posted by Boomboy007 View Post
    .... No matter what, it is incumbent upon the police to remain calm and professional, ESPECIALLY when those around them are not.
    Boomboy good post.
    Via Google within the hour, this report is coming out of San Fransico. For some of you guys, this has to be a nightmare.

    Protests over BART shooting turn violent

    Protests over BART shooting turn violent
    Demian Bulwa, Charles Burress,Matthai Kuruvila, Chronicle Staff Writers

    Wednesday, January 7, 2009

    More...
    (01-07) 21:13 PST Oakland -- A protest over the fatal shooting by a BART police officer of an unarmed man mushroomed into a violent confrontation tonight, as a faction of protesters smashed a police car and storefronts, set several cars on fire and blocked streets in downtown Oakland.

    Protesters smashed the storefronts of McDonald's as well as stores called Creative African Braids and Oakland Yoon's Pharmacy. Cars along 14th Street were smashed, and some were set ablaze.

    A woman walked out of Creative African Braids holding a baby in her arms.

    "This is our business," she shouted. "This is our shop. This is what you call a protest?"

    Nia Sykes, 24, of San Francisco, a protester who was with the group, said, "I feel like the night is going great. I feel like Oakland should make some noise. This is how we need to fight back.

    "It's for the murder of a black male," said Sykes, who is black. The demonstration "is totally appropriate."

    Sykes had little sympathy for the owner of Creative African Braids.

    "She should be glad she just lost her business and not her life," Sykes said. She added that she did have one worry for the night: "I just hope nobody gets shot or killed."

    Near 14th and Alice streets, Myron Bell was taking lessons in a step, a form of dance popular among African Americans, when he looked out the window and saw people jumping on his Lexus sedan.

    Bell, 42, came out to find that almost all of his windows, including the front and back had been smashed and it appeared that someone had tried to set the car on fire.

    "I'm for the cause," Bell said. "But I'm against the violence and destruction."

    Nearby, Godhuli Bose stood near her smashed Toyota Corolla, and a protester walked by, repeatedly calling her a misogynist epithet.

    "F- your car. F- your car," he said to Bose. Bose, a high school teacher: "I can't afford this."

    The protest started peacefully shortly after 3 p.m. at the Fruitvale Station in Oakland, where BART police Officer Johannes Mehserle shot 22-year-old Oscar Grant of Hayward to death early New Year's Day. BART shut down the station well into the evening commute, although the demonstration there was peaceful.

    However, shortly after nightfall, a group of roughly 200 protesters split off and head toward downtown Oakland, prompting the transit agency to close the Lake Merritt station.

    Oakland Police Officer Michael Cardoza parked his car across the intersection of Eighth and Madison streets, to prevent traffic from flowing toward Broadway and into the protest. But he told The Chronicle that a group of 30 to 40 protesters quickly surrounded his car and started smashing it with bottles and rocks.

    Cardoza jumped out of the car and said some protesters tried to set the car on fire, while others jumped on top of the hood - incidents repeatedly shown on television. Cardoza said the protesters "were trying to entice us into doing something."

    A group of protesters also set a trash bin aflame, moving it adjacent to the police car.

    Police threw tear gas into the group to disperse it, Sgt. Mark MacAulay said. After 8 p.m., there were numerous arrests.

    "When you get that mob mentality, it can be dangerous," MacAulay said.

    Other protesters marched on BART's 12th Street Station about 7 p.m., prompting the transit agency to close the downtown hub station even as it was reopening the Lake Merritt and Fruitvale stations.

    Protesters blocked the intersection of 14th and Broadway, near the downtown BART station entrance. As police put on helmets and gas masks and stood in a line formation, protesters held signs that read, "Your idea of justice?" and "Jail Killer Cops."

    One man lay in the intersection with his face down and his hands behind his back - seemingly evoking the position that Grant was in when he was shot.

    Some protesters wore masks over their faces as they yelled at police. Roughly a dozen stood just a few feet away from police as they screamed at them. Chants included "pigs go home," "the fascist police, no justice, no peace" and "we are all Oscar Grant."

    Mandingo Hayes, who is black, said he went to the protest because "we're tired of all these police agencies getting away with shooting unarmed black and Latino males."

    Hayes, 36, downplayed the attack on the police car.

    "For a police car to get abused, and for a person to get shot and killed, which would you rather be?" said Hayes, a construction worker from San Pablo.

    The core group of protesters was about 40 people, several of whom were with Revolution Books, a Berkeley bookstore. A man distributing "The Revolution" newspaper shouted "This whole damn system is guilty!"

    Earlier in the day, police had been largely passive. But at around 7:54 p.m., they began to push the crowd toward Lake Merritt. One officer shouted "Get Back! Get Back! Get Back!" As they forced protesters back, protesters smashed windows, cars and threw objects at police.
    Semper Fi

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    BART officer resigns during wake of shooting.

    Calif. officer in BART shooting resigns

    CNN.com

    OAKLAND, Calif. — The officer involved in a New Year's Day shooting that left a passenger dead in a crowded Oakland, California, subway station resigned Wednesday, a Bay Area Rapid Transit spokesman said.


    BART spokesman Linton Johnson said in a statement that the officer's attorney and his union representative submitted the resignation at a meeting Wednesday morning with BART police investigators. The officer was going to be at the meeting but did not show up, Johnson said.

    The resignation was effective immediately.

    Shortly before the funeral for the passenger, 22-year-old Oscar Grant, Johnson said the officer had received death threats.

    The BART officer fatally shot Grant in the back after he and some friends were pulled from a train car following a report of an altercation, according to a BART statement.

    On Tuesday, attorney John Burris filed a $25 million claim with BART in which he identified the officer as Johannes Mehserle. Several local media outlets had already identified the officer.

    Burris alleges in the claim, "Without so much as flinching the Officer Mehserle stood over Grant and mercilessly fired his weapon, mortally wounding Mr. Grant with a single gunshot wound to the back."

    Johnson said Mehserle's attorney -- reportedly David E. Mastagni of Sacramento -- has advised him not to speak to investigators. Nor has Mehserle made any public statements. Calls and e-mails to Mastagni's office Tuesday and Wednesday were not returned.

    Johnson also said the officer had been moved at least twice because of death threats to him and his family.

    CNN affiliate KTVU-TV in Oakland obtained videos of the incident and its prelude. One video, which KTVU reported came from a train passenger who wished not to be identified, shows three young men against a wall in the Fruitvale station.

    Burris told CNN on Tuesday that the young men had been celebrating the new year at a popular waterfront tourist spot, The Embarcadero. They were heading home when police pulled them from the train car about 2 a.m.

    Some of the young men were handcuffed, but not 22-year-old Oscar Grant. The video from the anonymous passenger shows Grant seated on the floor with his back against the wall.

    Grant holds up his hands, appearing to plead with police. Burris said Tuesday that Grant was asking police not to use a Taser.

    "He said to them, 'Don't Tase me; I have a 4-year-old daughter,' " Burris said.

    The interaction on the video is not audible.

    Seconds later, police put Grant face-down on the ground. Grant appears to struggle. One of the officers kneels on Grant as another officer stands, tugs at his gun, unholsters it and fires a shot into Grant's back.

    Burris said the bullet went through Grant's back and then ricocheted off the floor and through his lungs.

    Grant died seven hours later at a hospital, KTVU reported.

    In Wednesday's statement about Mehserle's resignation, BART General Manager Dorothy Dugger said that the "shooting is a tragic event in every respect for all involved."

    "We recognize that the family and friends of Oscar Grant are in mourning, and we extend our condolences," she said.

    Johnson has said Mehserle is devastated and is presumed innocent. He also says that the videos making the media rounds are inconclusive and that there is more to the story than what can be seen on the grainy images.

    There are two surveillance cameras at the Fruitvale station, but a BART official told CNN on Tuesday that no video is being released at this time.

    Burris called the shooting "unconscionable" and said the $25 million claim alleges wrongful death and violation of civil rights by use of excessive force. Read the claim

    BART has 45 days to respond, he said. If the authority rejects the claim, he will file a civil lawsuit, said Burris, who served as Rodney King's co-counsel in King's civil case against the Los Angeles Police Department in the 1990s.

    Burris has spoken to witnesses who claim that Grant was trying to resolve the situation.

    "He had been telling people to calm down. 'Be cool. Just do what they tell you to do,' " the attorney said.

    Johnson told KTVU that authorities are trying to determine whether the officer who shot Grant accidentally drew his gun instead of his Taser.

    Burris said he is pushing Alameda County District Attorney Tom Orloff to press second-degree murder charges, or involuntary manslaughter charges if evidence suggests that Mehserle mistook his gun for a Taser, he said.

    "No one wants to believe a cop would just kill somebody like that," he said. "My view is, this is criminal conduct, period."

    Orloff said Wednesday that his investigation will focus primarily on what led to the shooting.

    Some homicides are lawful, he noted. In this case, Orloff said, "the part that needs dissecting is what, if anything, can be determined about the mental state of the actor," meaning the officer.

    There are many possibilities, he said: His office could find no basis for criminal charges; the office could file involuntary manslaughter charges if Mehserle exercised gross negligence, voluntary manslaughter if Mehserle reasonably believed that he was acting in self-defense or murder if Mehserle acted with malice and forethought.

    "Our function is to determine whether or not criminal charges should be filed against the officer," he said. "These things are usually an issue of weeks rather than days."

    BART Police Chief Gary Gee released a statement this week expressing condolences for Grant's family and saying the authority is cooperating with Orloff's office.

    Gee added that BART will complete an "unbiased and thorough investigation" and asked the public to be patient.

    In the statement, Johnson said the officer's attorney had postponed a meeting with investigators Monday and on Tuesday asked for a delay until next week. That request was denied, and the Wednesday meeting was scheduled.

    Johnson told CNN on Wednesday that it could take weeks for BART to complete its investigation.

    "As frustrating as it is, I want to stress that we cannot and will not jeopardize this case by discussing details before the investigation is complete," Gee said.

    BART said in a statement Sunday that the officer had been on the force two years. He had on administrative leave, which is standard procedure, according to BART.

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    I know that this is a bit off topic, but why are police departments allowed to investigate incidents involving their own officers? There is no way a department investigating itself can be unbiased. Either the state police or the Feds should be the ones investigating incidents involving local police departments.
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    It is standard procedure for all law enforcement agencies to investigate officer involved shootings. The Internal Affairs wing is a group of officers whose sole purpose is to investigate officer corruption and wrongdoing. They are the police of the police

    If IA investigators find the officer was negligent, gross misconduct, etc. he will face criminal charges. Possibly manslaughter or even murder.

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    It is starting to get ugly.

    FOXNews.com - Protests Over Shooting of Unarmed Man by Transit Police Turn Violent in Northern California - Local News | News Articles | National News | US News

    Protests Over Shooting of Unarmed Man by Transit Police Turn Violent in Northern California
    Thursday, January 08, 2009

    E-Mail Print Share:

    AP/Noah Berger, San Francisco Chronicle


    Jan. 7: Police tackle a protester during a demonstration in downtown Oakland, Calif.
    OAKLAND, Calif. — Protests over the fatal shooting of an unarmed man by a Bay Area Rapid Transit police officer turned violent Wednesday night with windows broken, fires set and train stations closed.

    A few hundred protesters took the streets of downtown Oakland to condemn the shooting and call for criminal charges against 27-year-old officer Johannes Mehserle. Oakland police reported at least 15 arrests.

    Mehserle resigned from the transit agency shortly before he was supposed to be interviewed by investigators Wednesday.

    Mehserle is accused of shooting 22-year-old Oscar Grant of Hayward, who was lying face-down on the station platform when he was shot and killed early New Year's Day. Mehserle was one of several officers responding to reports about groups of men fighting on a train.

    Protesters gathered in the afternoon at the Fruitvale BART station where the shooting occurred last week. It was peaceful at first but began to turn after a splinter group left that site and marched downtown.

    Protesters set fire to a trash container and tried to overturn a police car, smashing the front window. Police attempted to disperse the crowd and smaller groups of protesters marched to different areas.

    RelatedStories
    Man's Fatal Shooting by San Francisco Subway Police Prompts Probe, Plans for $25M Lawsuit Photo Essays
    Riots Erupt in California Some protesters threw bottles, a window of a fast-food restaurant and other downtown stores were smashed, at least three cars were set on fire and many other automobiles were damaged. Police in riot gear threw tear gas to try to break up the demonstration.

    "The crowd started to become more agitated, more hostile, started throwing stuff at the police," Oakland police spokesman Jeff Thomason said. "We gave a dispersal order four to five times over a 20-minute period, then we had our officers go in and start making arrests."

    Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums went to the protest scene Wednesday night to urge for calm. He and several council members then led a group toward City Hall and further addressed them.

    "Even with our anger and our pain, let's still address each other with a degree of civility and calmness and not make this tragedy an excuse to engage in violence," Dellums said. "I don't want anybody hurt, I don't want anybody killed."

    Mehserle was scheduled to meet with agency investigators on Wednesday, but did not show up. His attorney and union representative turned in the resignation letter.

    John Burris, the attorney for Grant's family, said the timing of the resignation was not a surprise to him.

    "He doesn't want to give a statement because BART could've ordered him to do so, and if he didn't, he could be terminated."

    Now that he is not employed by BART, Mehserle can exercise his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination and not speak to investigators.

    Mehserle's attorney did not immediately respond to calls for comment Wednesday.

    The shooting is also being investigated by the Alameda County District Attorney's office.

    Dellums later directed the city's police department to conduct a third investigation into Grant's killing and to treat the incident as a homicide.

    "My sense of it is that people for whatever reason do not have confidence in this investigation as it goes forward," he said. "When I learned what was happening, I summoned the Oakland Police Department and said, 'Look, this is a homicide that happened in Oakland, let's investigate this like we would any other. Whether or not that will give people greater confidence, I don't know. We'll see."

    Grant's family has filed a $25 million wrongful death claim against BART and want prosecutors to file criminal charges against Mehserle.

    Amateur video of the shooting have played frequently on local news stations, giving even more publicity to the incident. Burris said Wednesday that one of the latest videos of the shooting shows that Mehserle did have a Taser on his left side, but he went for a gun on his right side, instead.

    "The video supports the position we are taking and eyewitnesses' testimony that the officer deliberately went for his gun and there's no mistake about it," Burris said. "He didn't reach across for his Taser. He couldn't have been thinking about that. He went directly for his gun."

    Earlier in the day, about a thousand of Grant's friends and family members attended a funeral for Grant, the father of a 4-year-old girl, at a Hayward church.
    By faith Noah,being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear,prepared an ark to the saving of his house;by the which he condemned the world,and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith Heb.11:7

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    Can't say I didn't see that coming.... It seems a lot of folks just look for an excuse to go nuts and get their frustrations out. Even when it's in the wake of a tragedy. No good can come from rioting.

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    Quote Originally Posted by HK4U View Post
    It is starting to get ugly.

    FOXNews.com - Protests Over Shooting of Unarmed Man by Transit Police Turn Violent in Northern California - Local News | News Articles | National News | US News

    Protests Over Shooting of Unarmed Man by Transit Police Turn Violent in Northern California
    Thursday, January 08, 2009

    E-Mail Print Share:

    AP/Noah Berger, San Francisco Chronicle


    Jan. 7: Police tackle a protester during a demonstration in downtown Oakland, Calif.
    OAKLAND, Calif. Protests over the fatal shooting of an unarmed man by a Bay Area Rapid Transit police officer turned violent Wednesday night with windows broken, fires set and train stations closed.

    A few hundred protesters took the streets of downtown Oakland to condemn the shooting and call for criminal charges against 27-year-old officer Johannes Mehserle. Oakland police reported at least 15 arrests.

    Mehserle resigned from the transit agency shortly before he was supposed to be interviewed by investigators Wednesday.

    Mehserle is accused of shooting 22-year-old Oscar Grant of Hayward, who was lying face-down on the station platform when he was shot and killed early New Year's Day. Mehserle was one of several officers responding to reports about groups of men fighting on a train.

    Protesters gathered in the afternoon at the Fruitvale BART station where the shooting occurred last week. It was peaceful at first but began to turn after a splinter group left that site and marched downtown.

    Protesters set fire to a trash container and tried to overturn a police car, smashing the front window. Police attempted to disperse the crowd and smaller groups of protesters marched to different areas.

    RelatedStories
    Man's Fatal Shooting by San Francisco Subway Police Prompts Probe, Plans for $25M Lawsuit Photo Essays
    Riots Erupt in California Some protesters threw bottles, a window of a fast-food restaurant and other downtown stores were smashed, at least three cars were set on fire and many other automobiles were damaged. Police in riot gear threw tear gas to try to break up the demonstration.

    "The crowd started to become more agitated, more hostile, started throwing stuff at the police," Oakland police spokesman Jeff Thomason said. "We gave a dispersal order four to five times over a 20-minute period, then we had our officers go in and start making arrests."

    Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums went to the protest scene Wednesday night to urge for calm. He and several council members then led a group toward City Hall and further addressed them.

    "Even with our anger and our pain, let's still address each other with a degree of civility and calmness and not make this tragedy an excuse to engage in violence," Dellums said. "I don't want anybody hurt, I don't want anybody killed."

    Mehserle was scheduled to meet with agency investigators on Wednesday, but did not show up. His attorney and union representative turned in the resignation letter.

    John Burris, the attorney for Grant's family, said the timing of the resignation was not a surprise to him.

    "He doesn't want to give a statement because BART could've ordered him to do so, and if he didn't, he could be terminated."

    Now that he is not employed by BART, Mehserle can exercise his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination and not speak to investigators.

    Mehserle's attorney did not immediately respond to calls for comment Wednesday.

    The shooting is also being investigated by the Alameda County District Attorney's office.

    Dellums later directed the city's police department to conduct a third investigation into Grant's killing and to treat the incident as a homicide.

    "My sense of it is that people for whatever reason do not have confidence in this investigation as it goes forward," he said. "When I learned what was happening, I summoned the Oakland Police Department and said, 'Look, this is a homicide that happened in Oakland, let's investigate this like we would any other. Whether or not that will give people greater confidence, I don't know. We'll see."

    Grant's family has filed a $25 million wrongful death claim against BART and want prosecutors to file criminal charges against Mehserle.

    Amateur video of the shooting have played frequently on local news stations, giving even more publicity to the incident. Burris said Wednesday that one of the latest videos of the shooting shows that Mehserle did have a Taser on his left side, but he went for a gun on his right side, instead.

    "The video supports the position we are taking and eyewitnesses' testimony that the officer deliberately went for his gun and there's no mistake about it," Burris said. "He didn't reach across for his Taser. He couldn't have been thinking about that. He went directly for his gun."

    Earlier in the day, about a thousand of Grant's friends and family members attended a funeral for Grant, the father of a 4-year-old girl, at a Hayward church.

    I know that this is politically incorrect, but have any of you ever noticed that any time a Black person is shot, handled roughly, or in this case, killed by police, so called civil rights activists come out of the woodworks to protest? Am I the only one who has noticed that (by the way, I'm Black too). I'm just surprised we haven't heard anything from Al and Jesse yet.
    Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both.

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    Hmmm.... you're right Tatt! Usually Al and Jesse are the first ones to say something. I imagine it's just a matter of time.

  10. #20
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    I think it's interesting that these BLACK people are having such a good time trashing the property of other BLACK people:

    Sykes had little sympathy for the owner of Creative African Braids. (trashed by the rioters)

    "She should be glad she just lost her business and not her life," Sykes said.
    Bell, 42, came out to find that almost all of his windows, including the front and back had been smashed and it appeared that someone had tried to set the car on fire.
    Nearby, Godhuli Bose stood near her smashed Toyota Corolla, and a protester walked by, repeatedly calling her a misogynist epithet.

    "F- your car. F- your car," he said to Bose.
    IOW, "We love to riot, all we need is some excuse. We just love to go out and trash the neighborhood, even if it's our own, even if it belongs to our own people." In L.A., they burned their own neighborhood, Watts. Remember that one?
    Last edited by gpbarth; 01-08-2009 at 12:35 PM.

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