Oscar Grant (Oscar Juliuss Grant III) (February 27, 1986 – January 1, 2009) became a martyr to police brutality in the early hours of January 1, 2009 when he was killed by BART police officer Johannes Mehserle with one shot to the back as he lay facedown on the Fruitvale station subway platform, after being pulled from a train for allegedly fighting. He was unarmed. Mehserle claimed he meant to pull his Taser, but grabbed his pistol instead; unfortunately for him (and the blue code of silence in general), this took place in front of a parked train full of witnesses, who immediately began uploading their camera-phone footage to YouTube and news sites, triggering a national uproar within hours. Mehserle would not be able to easily talk his way out of this predicament.
Foundation The Oscar Grant Foundation was founded specifically to assist families through the initial aftermath of a traumatic event caused by violence sustained at the hands of law enforcement officers. Its Family First-Responders Crisis Team provides comfort, needs assessment, emergency counseling and resource-referral information to families in need, bridging the gap between the extended family’s natural emotional response and that of objective, caring, knowledgeable individuals who can make appropriate services and resources available.
Film Fruitvale Station (originally titled Fruitvale) (for the Oakland Wiki article, click here), the true story of 22-year-old Oscar Grant, took home the Grand Jury Prize and Audience Award prizes for U.S. Dramatic at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah. The prizes are the festival’s two highest honors. The film, masterfully directed by 26-year-old Ryan Coogler in his directorial debut, was produced by Academy-Award winner (Last King of Scotland) Forest Whitaker and Nina Yang Bongiovi. It stars Michael B. Jordan as Grant, and Academy-Award winner (The Help) Octavia Spencer, as his mother, Wanda Johnson.
- BART Police shooting of Oscar Grant Wikipedia 1
So how accurate is the movie? Coogler worked closely with public records, news stories, and Grant’s family to piece together the events he put on film, and most of what we see is true to those events insofar as we can be sure of them. The film does take creative license with a few minor characters and scenes, however—and the names of some key players (mostly, those apart from Grant who were present at the shooting) are changed.... continue reading>>http://www.slate.com/blogs/browbeat
mass incarceration and police brutality
(By Doug Kauffman August 3, 2013)
Oscar Grant Jr. in Solano State Prison The Grant family during a visit to the prison: Wanda (standing); Oscar Grant Jr. (in jumpsuit); Chantay (Oscar Grant III's half sister); and baby Oscar Grant III This article was written after phone interviews with Oscar Grant III’s father, Oscar Grant Jr., who is currently held behind bars at Solano State Prison in Vacaville, Calif.
On September 8, 1985, Oscar Grant Jr. found himself in jail for a murder he did not commit and has since been held in prison for 28 years. An innocent Grant suffered for decades the dehumanizing conditions of prison and was deprived of raising his son, Oscar Grant III. His reality took a more horrifying turn on New Year’s Day 2009, when from inside prison Grant Jr. learned the news that a police officer had deliberately killed his son on a train platform in Oakland.
Grant saw the video, along with the rest of the world, of Johannes Mehserle pulling his weapon and executing Oscar Grant III at point blank range on the platform of Fruitvale Station. He watched painfully as masses of people poured into the streets repeatedly. Like the people who fought in the streets, he felt a momentary victory as Mehserle was put behind bars. But the outcome of the trial and sentencing—only 11 months in jail for killing his son, while Grant Jr. sat behind bars—was an outrage.
The racist ‘War on Drugs’ and mass incarceration
Oscar grew up in a poor community in Oakland, Calif. As a young man in the early 1980s he worked various jobs at convalescent homes as well as loading and unloading trucks. ... continue reading>> http://www.pslweb.org/liberationnews/news/untold-story-oscar-grant.html