Appeals Court Rules Against Father of Oscar Grant

jamilsmith4B93D84C-E1BA-0393-4D08-9A9A45690CF2By Derrick Broze

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals of California has ruled that the father of Oscar Grant, a 22-year-old man shot and killed by Bay Area Rapid Transit police, cannot pursue monetary damages.

On New Year’s Day 2009, 22-year-old Oscar Grant was detained and handcuffed by Bay Area Rapid Transit police at the Fruitvale station in Oakland, California. Grant was lying facedown on the platform of the station when former BART police Officer Johannes Mehserle shot him in the back of the head. Mehserle claimed he thought he fired his Taser instead of his gun. He was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter and sentenced to two years in prison.

Oscar Grant’s mother filed a $50 million lawsuit against the BART before settling in 2010 for $1.3 million. Oscar Grant’s father, Oscar Grant II, filed his own lawsuit shortly after claiming that his son’s death caused him a “loss of familial relationship.” In July 2014, a federal jury unanimously decided that the elder Grant was not owed any compensation. The decision was appealed, but now the Ninth Circuit has published a ruling that affirms the jury’s decision.

Courthouse News reported:

Grant Jr. has been in prison since 1985 for a murder conviction, and in an interview Tuesday his attorney Waukeen McCoy said the jury was biased against him because of his record.

“They think he’s a menace to society because he’s in prison. But this is a totally separate issue,” McCoy said. “Obviously he had a familial relationship with his son visiting him all of his life when he was in prison. It wasn’t the same relationship as someone else, but all families are different. This was a unique situation and they just disregarded that because he’s in prison.”

McCoy said the bias against his client is evidence that the courts  “do not afford prisoners the same rights as other people.” The Ninth Circuit panel disagreed.

“Among other deficiencies, the claims of the Grant III Estate had already been duly settled for $1.3 million by Wanda Johnson, the decedent’s mother and authorized ‘personal representative,’ leaving no cause of action for this plaintiff,” the Ninth Circuit panel wrote in an unpublished memorandum.

Whether you think Oscar Grant’s father deserves monetary damages or is just a money hungry criminal, the fact is a man was murdered. Although the police officer in this case was held accountable and sentenced to jail time, he received significantly less time than the average person would if they shot someone at point-blank range.

This is because the police are a privileged class that follow different rules than the rest of the population. Together with the political and corporate class they make up the State that seeks to strip you of freedom and happiness. Imagine what would happen if our communities started organizing against these violent criminals and peacefully prevented the murder of our people? It’s time to start having those conversations. But let us not forget those who have fallen, especially Oscar Grant.

Every year since his death, supporters have gathered to protest and celebrate his life. On the 6th anniversary of his death, Grant’s mother Wanda Johnson remembered her son and a positive light and gave thanks to supporters. “I know Oscar is looking down and he’s smiling, seeing a whole sea of people getting together to celebrate him and to celebrate life,” she said.

Also Read: A Brutal Case of Backwards Justice in America

Image Credit

Derrick Broze is an investigative journalist and liberty activist. He is the Lead Investigative Reporter for and the founder of the Follow him on Twitter.

Derrick is available for interviews.

This article may be freely reposted in part or in full with author attribution and source link.

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8 Comments on "Appeals Court Rules Against Father of Oscar Grant"


    These cop killers of unarmed African Americans out of PURE RACISM must be made to FEAR FOR THEIR COWARDLY LIVES till they die…or they WILL KEEP KILLING…

  2. I don’t understand; Oscar Grant’s father is Oscar Grant II. The child is father to the man?

    Who is Oscar Grant Jr.?

    • Why should I bother answering? You are only pretending to be dense.
      The original Oscar Grant was named at birth.
      When he named his son Oscar Grant, the original Oscar Grant automatically acquired the name Oscar Grant Sr. and his son also automatically acquired the name Oscar Grant Jr.
      When the third Oscar Grant was born he also had the name Oscar Grant III, the original Oscar Grant automatically acquired a third name of Oscar Grant I and the middle Oscar Grant automatically acquired a third name of Oscar Grant II.
      So you have:
      Oscar Grant also known as Oscar Grant Sr. and also known as Oscar Grant I.
      Oscar Grant also known as Oscar Grant Jr. and also known as Oscar Grant II.
      Oscar Grant also known as Oscar Grant III that got shortchanged in the naming department with only two names and got a bullet in the back of the head from a D.C.

  3. I attended a protest in front of the Oakland Courthouse to force prosecution of Oscar Grant’s killer. The facts of the murder seem clear to everyone but the poorly trained, out to lunch BART police. It was no accident, and shooting an unarmed individual who was trussed up, on his stomach on the floor, is unconscionable. It is unfortunate that the father and mother did not consolidate their actions, as that would more likely have resulted in some monetary compensation to the father.

  4. At least the “officer” got some prime time in the gray bar no tell motel.

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