OAKLAND (KPIX) — Each year Wanda Johnson, her family, and the Oakland community make the same resolution on New Year’s Day. They resolve to fight to keep Oscar Grant’s legacy alive.
“We’re going to continue fighting for equal rights for not just my family but for all families who’ve lost someone to injustice,” Johnson said.
Wanda lost her 22-year-old son Oscar Grant in 2009. He was fatally shot by a BART police officer. That officer, Johannes Mehserle, was sentenced to two years in prison for involuntary manslaughter.
“I think Oscar’s death was the catalyst to wake up America to say that we as a people have a long way to go,” Johnson said.
Hundreds showed up to hold a vigil for Grant Tuesday at the Fruitvale station. Many like Nashone Holmes didn’t know him personally but wanted to come out to show their support.
“Solidarity, I’m a mom. I have sons and I can empathize with Miss Wanda,” Holmes said.
Grant’s daughter Tatiana Grant was four-years-old the night he died.
“It’s sad because I don’t have my father,” she said.
She thanked the crowd and says every year this celebration helps her carry on.
“It actually means a lot to me, it’s another day that I get to wake up and support my Dad,” Grant said.
Grant’s family is fighting to rename Fruitvale station Grant/Fruitvale station and hopes to rename the road in front of it Oscar Grant Way. A mural is underway at the station. It’s expected to be revealed March 23rd.