A call for unity at Oakland's annual Oscar Grant vigil
OAKLAND, Calif. - People called for unity Wednesday at the Fruitvale BART station where they marked the 11th anniversary of the fatal shooting of Oscar Grant III by a BART police officer.
The noon rally at the station at 3401 E. 12th St. celebrated the life of Grant, who was fatally shot by former BART police Officer Johannes Mehserle on New Year's Day in 2009.
The vigil was organized by the Oscar Grant Foundation, which is headed by Grant's mother, the Rev. Wanda Johnson. Community members spoke and prayed together in front of a newly-unveiled mural of Grant. A previously unnamed street next to the station has been renamed Oscar Grant III Way.
His mother told the crowd her son's legacy was one of love.
"Oscar Grant's life was taken but he also leaves a legacy behind. And that legacy deals with community because he was a person who loved all people. And when you look at the end of the word community, you see unity," his mother said.
Mehserle was charged with murder and a jury eventually convicted him of involuntary manslaughter. He was sentenced to two years in prison, but served half the sentence when he was credited with good conduct in jail.