Oscar Grant Remembered 10 Years Later

By Free Radical 

Oscar Grant's mother, Wanda Johnson, continues to fight for justice for her slain son Oscar Grant.

Oscar Grant’s mother, Wanda Johnson, continues to fight for justice for her slain son Oscar Grant.

January 1 not only marked the beginning of a new year but also the ten year anniversary of the murder of Oscar Grant who was killed at the age of 22 by a Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) police officer.

On Tuesday nearly 200 people memorialized him at the Fruitvale train station where he was killed in 2009.

Family members and friends remembered him as a caring father, thoughtful son and grandson, and a lover of animals.

Even attendees who did not know Grant personally could speak to his importance. Lateefah Simon, the current BART director, revealed that his death prompted her to run for office.

“When Oscar died, I knew, like thousands of people in this city and millions in the world, that we needed to change structures,” she told the crowd. “So I ran for the BART board, and you all elected me.”

Onlookers captured Grant’s death when BART officer Johannes Mehserle shot him in the back while another officer pinned him down. The footage which quickly went viral sparked national protests against police brutality.

Mehserle quit the BART force and was convicted of involuntary manslaughter and a separate charge of intentionally firing a gun in 2010. The gun charge was thrown out by the presiding judge. He only spent the minimum of two years in jail and was credited for time served.

A mural for Grant is expected is expected to be completed at the Fruitvale station in March 2019. The family is also pushing for the site of his murder to be renamed the Fruitvale-Grant station. BART has expressed resistance to this idea,  but the family is persistent.

At the memorial, Grant’s mother, Wanda Johnson affirmed “Fruitvale Grant Station — we’re claiming that. We believe that, and we will fight!”

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