Almost 10 years ago, Oscar Grant, a 22-year-old black man, was shot and killed by a Bay Area Rapid Transit officer in Oakland, Calif., on New Year’s Day. With the anniversary of his death approaching, Grant’s family is asking for BART and the city of Oakland to recognize him by renaming the station where he was killed.
According to KGO-TV, Grant’s family pleaded with BART’s board of directors last week to re-name the Fruitvale station, Fruitvale Grant Station in his memory.
“It would be an atonement, it would be part of BART saying yes this happened here, we vow that it won’t happen again and we vow to work with the communities and ensure that all people are treated equally,” Oscar Grant’s mother, Wanda Johnson, said.
Grant’s death was caught on video and became one of the first viral videos of a black man’s death that was played on across the nation.
In the video, BART officers pull Grant away from a group of other black men, put him on his stomach, and handcuff him. Shortly after, Officer Johannes Mehserle pulls out his gun and shoots Grant dead. Mehserle served less than two years for involuntary manslaughter.
But KGO-TV reports, the renaming of the station is unlikely, with BART officials saying they can’t change their policy of naming stations after their location. A BART spokesperson confirmed that a mural honoring Grant at Fruitvale station has been commissioned and is currently in planning stages. Grant’s family has also requested that a side street at Fruitvale be named after their loved one; BART has referred that request to the city of Oakland.
Oscar Grant’s Family Requests To Have Fruitvale BART Station Named After Him was originally published on blackamericaweb.com