BART reaches $1.5 million settlement for daughter of Oscar Grant

BART reached an agreement with the mother of Oscar Grant’s young daughter Tatiana, according to BART. The settlement is for $1.5 million and stems from the $50 million civil lawsuit filed against BART after then police officer Johnannes Mehserle shot and killed Grant at Fruitvale BART early New Year’s Day. Grant was lying on his stomach with his hands behind his back.

Oscar Grant's daughter, Tatianna speaks at vigil for her father, alongside Jack Bryson, Wanda Johnson and Cephus "Uncle Bobby" Johnson
Photo: Flickr user

"It’s been a little over a year since we experienced the tragic death of Oscar Grant,” BART Board President James Fang said in a statement. “No matter what anyone’s opinion of the case may be, the sad fact remains this incident has left Tatiana without a father."

Fang added, "While these proceedings have been taking place, we on the BART Board have been taking the actions needed to improve the BART Police Department to ensure our officers are better-trained and better-equipped to keep our customers safe.”

“This settlement is critical in our efforts to move forward,” BART Board Member Carole Ward Allen said. Ward Allen chairs the BART Police Department Review Committee, and represents the district in which Grant was shot and killed. The Police Department Review Commitee is responsible for reforming the department. "We’re working hard to make the Police Department the best it can be for our officers, our customers and our community."

BART then touted their reforms in progress:
"Since the shooting, BART has made a number of significant changes including:

  • Working with the State Legislature to pass a bill (AB1586) on citizen oversight of the BART Police Department implemented – Monday, January 25, the State Assembly passed AB1586 (67-0), it now heads to the State Senate.
  • More than tripling the number of training hours provided all officers, including increased training in crowd control, defensive tactics and Taser use.
  • Involving the public in BART’s search for a new police chief.
  • Increasing police visibility in stations and on trains.
  • Requiring officers to report all use-of-force incidents, not just those deemed “significant,” with each incident thoroughly reviewed by a newly-established panel that determines the next appropriate steps of action.
This announcement follows one month after BART and Grant's family released a joint press release ahead of the one-year anniversary vigil.

There is no word on the separate suits filed by both Wanda Johnson, Grant's mother, as well as that filed by Grant's friends, who were beaten and abused prior to Grant's shooting death.

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