Activists to BART: Take responsibility, don't blame Oscar Grant's friends for his death

BART Board Meeting
Thursday, Feb. 11
9 a.m.
344 20th Street at Harrison St
Oakland, CA

Activists unhappy with BART recently blaming Oscar Grant's friends for his death plan to protest the BART Board of Director's meeting Thursday, Feb. 11. A rally and press conference was held Wednesday, Feb. 10 at Fruitvale BART.

BART attorney Dale Allen told the Sacramento Bee that BART will "vigorously fight [Oscar's friends' lawsuits] based on their contributing actions to the tragic accident."

The statements came on the heels of BART announcing a $1.5 million settlement with Sophina Mesa, the mother of Oscar Grant's daughter Tatiana. Grant was killed by BART police officer Johannes Mehserle last New Year's Day.

"This settlement was the opening Oscar’s killers needed, to devalue Oscar’s life and launch a campaign to blame Oscar’s friends," Rachel Jackson of the New Year's Movement for Justice said. She points out that Rodney King settled for $3.8 million in 1991 and the BART settlement, which allegedly guarantees Tatiana’s future stability, "isn’t even half what Rodney King got, and Mehserle’s criminal trial hasn’t even begun."

John Burris, attorney for the Grant family said in a press conference last week that BART was leaking confidential information to deprive the young men of their civil rights. Additionally, he said it was an attempt to lower the amount of money BART should pay to Grant's family, and the young men.

Grant's mother and co-plaintiff in the $50 million civil lawsuit against BART has refused to settle.

Jackson said, "BART is obviously working closely with Mehserle's defense, and when the trial starts the devil in the details will come to light." She encourages the community to attend the meeting to expose BART's lies.

The BART Board meeting takes place at 9 a.m. at the BART Headquaters, 344 20th Street on the 3rd Floor.

Community members demonstrate outside of the BART Board meeting Jan. 8, 2009 one week after BART police officer Johannes Mehserle shot and killed Oscar Grant, III.
Photo: Reginald James

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