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January 6, 2009

This is insane. Oscar Grant III was fatally shot by an unidentified BART(Oakland,CA) officer early New Year’s Day. Oscar Grant was unarmed, laying face down and shot in the back.

OAKLAND, Calif. – Law enforcement officials urged patience while they investigated details surrounding the fatal New Year’s Day shooting of a 22-year-old man by a transit agency police officer.

Bay Area Rapid Transit Police Chief Gary Gee said on Sunday that the agency is “committed to completing an unbiased, thorough and detailed investigation” of the shooting death of Oscar Grant.

“This case is not even four days cold. We’re in the early stages of the investigation and we will do a very thorough job,” he said.

Several unanswered questions remained after BART officers went to Oakland’s Fruitvale station to investigate reports of a supposed brawl on a train on which Grant was riding around 2 a.m. Thursday.

A friend of Grant’s who was with him on the crowded Oakland train station platform at the time of the shooting said Grant pleaded with officers not to harm him.

“Oscar yelled, ‘You shot me! I got a four-year-old daughter,'” said Fernando Anicete. “Oscar was telling us to calm down and we did. We weren’t looking for any trouble.”

Anicete was among more than 50 people attending a tearful news conference in Oakland on Sunday where Grant’s family announced they planned to file a $25 million claim against the Bay Area Rapid Transit agency this week. A claim is the first step in the process of suing the agency.

The family’s attorney John Burris said the shooting was intentional, and that he planned to ask Alameda County prosecutors to seek criminal charges against the officer. Burris said Grant, of Hayward, Calif., posed no threat to officers when a bullet entered his back and ricocheted to his lung area, killing him almost instantly.

“The officer leaned (in), was straddling over him and pointed his gun directly into the backside and shot (Grant),” said Burris, adding that Grant was handcuffed – after he was shot. “This was not a deadly force situation.”

Gee said BART police are fully cooperating with the district attorney’s investigation.

Grant’s mother, Wanda Johnson, and Sophina Mesa, his daughter’s mother, wept uncontrollably as Burris spoke about Grant. They did not speak, but several said Grant, a butcher at a supermarket near the train station where he was killed, was a loving father showing signs of maturation.

Cephus “Bobby” Johnson, Grant’s uncle, said he text messaged his nephew just after midnight Thursday saying, “Happy New Year … I love you.”

Johnson never got a reply.

“I wondered why he didn’t text me back,” a teary-eyed Johnson said. “And then I found out why.”

BART spokesman Jim Allison has said the officer’s gun went off while police were trying to restrain Grant and that Grant was not cuffed. The unidentified officer is on paid leave as BART investigates the shooting.

Mario Pangelina, Mesa’s brother who was riding on the same train, two cars behind Grant on Thursday morning, said Sunday he saw Grant beg police not to Taser him because of his child.

“He kept saying, ‘Please, please don’t Tase me,'” Pangelina said. “He was not acting hostile.”

Other witnesses said Grant was lying on his stomach on the station’s platform when he was shot.

Recordings of the shooting by witnesses have surfaced and Burris said BART had confiscated numerous cell phone images from others he believes contain additional footage.

Services for Grant will be held Wednesday.

18 Comments leave one →
  1. anarchist permalink
    January 6, 2009 8:36 am

    there is no remorse for the polices action. they take a life in Exarchia Greece, they take a life in Augusta Ga, they take a life in Oakland Ca, they take a life in Lakewood Wa. they have been taking our lives for far to long. they did the same earlier in the year of 2008 in Oakland after the anarchist book fair. what happened? a march where people took back to the normalcy of daily life. because the religious institutions that exist within capital became the vehicle of what should be done and what was done. to begin recuperating the rage against this world.
    there (Alex, Oscar, Justin, Jose etc.) lives are an extension of our rage. for far too long it has been a distancing of these experiences from places like Gaza, Greece, Iraq… now it is knocking very abruptly on our doors. lets see an end to their semantics and dialects of passivity that they have a cry for. so we can be ordered to consume more of the same life less commodities. work the same miserable jobs… become more of the same of this entire monolith.
    it is seen now that these bastards in uniforms are nothing. they have no power. all they have is a badge and are part of a larger system created by capital and the institutions existent. let this be a poem written by heart beats of the past that seem so familiar. look at LA in 1968 the watts riots, look at LA in 1992 the Rodney King riots, look at France in 2005 a deeper social condition created in the banlieues.
    its OK for an police officer to kill a person – a body. part of this larger apparatus. when this happens it is called justice or protection of the people. though when a person kills a cop it is called murder. the media will go on and on about the intention of why this happened. the police officer gets a leave of absence, paid vacation for their inexcusable actions. while the families mourn the deaths of the people they loved. a child is left behind, a family is left behind, a group of friends are left. with discontent and rage. they need to be held accountable.

  2. Stock permalink
    January 6, 2009 1:34 pm

    Now we have the BART police executing people? What has this world turned into?

  3. SPURSGUY permalink
    January 6, 2009 2:53 pm

    Oscar Grant was executed plain and simple! The thing is I’m not surprised this kind of thing still goes on. You just know that if the killing wasn’t caught on camera it would have been buried. I bet that the police get away with it though. As usual!

  4. January 6, 2009 6:31 pm


  5. January 6, 2009 8:04 pm

    … and this killing is not “an isolated incident”, but is the tip of an iceberg that’s much bigger than most people realize. Here is a link to the Department of “Justice” website that lists “Justifiable homicides” by police each year (and their definition for what is “justifiable” is “the killing of a felon by a law enforcement officer in the line of duty”, so apparently the DoJ thinks once a person is convicted of a felony they are subject to being killed “justifiably” at any time for the rest of their life):

    Take the decade of the 1990s: they list 3,876 such cases. Meanwhile, in the same decade we documented over 2,000 cases of homicides by police or negligent jail personnel, and in maybe only half of them could police contort the facts to claim the homicide was “justifiable”. So a rough estimate is that if the DoJ listed “unjustifiable” homicides by police, there’d be maybe twice that number in total – or around 8,000, and that works out to over TWO PER DAY! Note that while the DoJ site just gives numbers, we give names/dates/places/etc. Here is our website:

    [Note that, when clicking “Read the cases”, the links going to each state’s list are broken 😦 ]

    Law enforcement is beyond corrupt; they’re lawless!

  6. January 6, 2009 8:19 pm

    R.I.P Oscar Grant III. This is a pure example of what is wrong with these so called officers of the law throughout the entire country. This was vile and evil at its fullest. I cant even imagine what the family is going through. Justice will be served.

  7. January 6, 2009 9:13 pm


    I Wrote You & I KLnew You Would Post It. Thank You. . .

    He Didn’t Deserve This. I Went To School With Him & He Wasn’t A Bad Dude. REAL TALK. . .

    Now There’s A 4 Year Old Girl With No Father & A Family With No Son/Brother. . .

    That Policeman Is Going Down. . .

    We’re Marching @ Fruitvale BART (Where He Got Shot) On Wednesday January 7th, 2009. . .

    Thanks, Again, All Hip Hop. It Means The World. . .

  8. January 7, 2009 12:49 am

    Right on man! In Greece they have been fucking shit up for over five weeks because the pigs shot and killed a 14 year old unarmed kid. I live right down the street from the Fruitvale station I go there almost everyday. I say we riot tomorrow. I’ve been online blogging and leaving comments for the last couple of days I can’t believe the amount of racist apathy I’ve been encountering. It doesn’t matter what color the victim was or the officer for that matter. The very fact that a human being could do that to another human being is wrong. The very fact that this man is still allowed to walk the streets is ridiculous. We as a community need to fight this kind of injustice as strong as we can!

  9. dan permalink
    January 7, 2009 10:55 am

    I dont get it…
    Why don`t yall get out and protest ?
    What about sean bell and rodney king, and all the others???
    Didnt yall see what happend in greece, when the police killed that 15 year old boy?
    there was mad riots everywhere.
    why is nothing happening in the states ?
    im german, and if i see, what his great nation, that freed us from hitler is doing to itself and espacially to its black population, im getting very sad…

  10. gail permalink
    January 7, 2009 5:57 pm

    it seems that you all are putting this out like its a black thing.
    it is not i am very pissed about what happend sad den deeply aiso,and the DA, this is to much . im a high school grad. and i know that this is un exaceptable get rid !!! of that DA
    god bless this boy just barely a man he had not a chance.
    a white sister we are all gods kids.

  11. Vickye Stephens permalink
    January 7, 2009 6:40 pm

    This is a tragedy and a wake up call. No need to ask how something like this could happen. Human, all too human. Perhaps it is time for BART to have better trained and better screened Police. It would be better to have fewer on duty than to have trigger happy men and women on the force. Adrenaline is no excuse for lack of discipline. My heart goes out to Oscar’s family and my heart breaks that this could have occurred. Justice must be done in the face of such human cruelty or it will continue.

  12. Non Hoodlum permalink
    January 8, 2009 6:10 am

    The guy should have been at home with his daughter rather than fighting on BART at midnight. Play with fire you get burned. The Cop did not intend to kill the man, he thought it was a tazer. and the news just said the dude was not in handcuffs, that was a different dude, check channel 2 news website.

  13. Justin permalink
    January 8, 2009 8:28 am

    Mate i bet those Officials are kicking themselves they confiscate all the footage. This cop’s face & name should be plastered all over the world, so everybody knows how foul and hateful he is. To execute a man in cold blood is nothing but pure evil. The sad thing is it will either disappear from the public eye or he’ll escape with a slap on the wrist, and turn up 20 years from now as the mayor of some back water american town. gross.

  14. tobi anderson permalink
    January 8, 2009 11:33 am

    of course its not just a black thing, but black people have been disproportionately murdered by US police

  15. laura permalink
    January 8, 2009 4:08 pm

    RIP Oscar Grant. this is horrible. makes me so sad. so sorry this has happened. what is wrong with some of these cops!! it is just sick, sick , sick. we cannot just keep having this happen over & over. we need to retrain these cops, not hire these sick ones. redo the whole justice system from top to bottom.

  16. Sue permalink
    January 8, 2009 9:52 pm

    Ok, so what is the point of rioting.. burning down businesses that have nothing to d with the shooting, etc? Acting like violent idiots isn’t the path to justice. The family will win whatever lawsuit they file, and the idiot who did the shooting will most likely be punished/sent to prison. And if that doesn’t happen, why burn down local businesses anyway? What is the point of a riot? Who does it hurt and who does it help? It is like an abusive husband beating his wife and saying “you made me do this” after expressing his rage.


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