OAKLAND, Calif. (KCBS)- The family of Oscar Grant spoke out Saturday about the involuntary manslaughter verdict in the Johannes Mehserle murder trial. They also addressed the former BART officer’s letter to them, about the killing of the young man from Hayward.
Grant’s uncle says the family, doesn’t consider the letter, a “real apology”.
Standing alongside faith-based leaders in Oakland, Grant’s Uncle Cephus Johnson said the letter was phony and timed to get a sympathetic response from the court prior to sentencing.
“This is a letter that was purposely designed to influence the judge as well as the jurors to bring about what he got,” said Johnson. “Sadly to say, we’re not buying it as a letter of apology to us, and the public does not believe it as we don’t,” added Johnson.
Johnson told reporters and churchgoers at the True Vine Baptist church that the family has been strategizing toward federal civil rights prosecution of former BART police officer Johannes Mehserle, who was convicted last Thursday of involuntary manslaughter in the New Year’s Day 2009 killing of the unarmed Grant on a BART platform.
“So let it be clear that the Department of Justice will get involved in this case,” Johnson said reassuringly.
As for the damage to the 100 Oakland businesses following the verdict Thursday night, Oakland Minister Keith Muhammad said certain actions are permissible.
“When justice is not served there is an anger that God permits in the heart of those who have suffered injustice,” claimed Muhammad.
Oscar Grant’s mother Wanda Johnson was present at the news conference but chose not to speak.