OAKLAND (KCBS)— Demonstrators gathered Wednesday afternoon for a peaceful vigil in Oakland to mark the five-year anniversary of the shooting death of Oscar Grant who was killed by a BART police officer at the Fruitvale Station on New Year’s Day.
Grant’s family was in attendance and said there is still a big problem with police brutality. Protesters held signs that read, “We are all Oscar Grant” and declared the location of his death, “Grant Station”.
Grant’s uncle, Cephus Johnson said what happened five years ago still matters today, because young people are still being killed by police. He went on to cite the case of 13-year-old Andy Lopez, who was shot and killed by a sheriff’s deputy in Santa Rosa.
“We still have children dying on a regular basis,” he said. “[Oscar] was really just a human being, making it in life and happened to be murdered on the platform and it was caught on video,” Johnson said.
Johannes Mehserle, the former BART officer who shot and killed Grant, was convicted of manslaughter. He served 11 months of a two-year sentence behind bars before being paroled.
Mehserle said he accidentally drew his revolver instead of his Taser stun-gun during the incident.
Meanwhile, BART’s police chief has said he’s implemented dozens of reforms since the killing as well as made strides in community engagement, officer training and the appropriate use of force.
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