Oakland City Council unanimously passes resolution to name street Oscar Grant Way
OAKLAND, Calif. (KTVU) - Oakland City Council unanimously passed a resolution to name a street next to BART Fruitvale station, Oscar Grant Way.
The resolution, co-authored by council President Rebecca Kaplan and former councilmember Desley Brooks, passed Tuesday night.
This year marked the 10-year anniversary of Grant's shooting death at the hands of BART police on New Year's Day 2009.
“Thank you again to Desley Brooks for working to bring this to council, to Council President Kaplan, Councilmember McElhaney, Vice Mayor Reid and the community for standing with us for ten years," said Grant's uncle, Cephus "Uncle Bobby" Johnson.
“We are here today to honor Oscar Grant, and I want to acknowledge this is a small gesture, that is long past time in passing. The activism of the family and the community sparked an international movement. We need to honor the life of Oscar Grant, the activism his death has sparked, and we need to continue to fight for a world where black men and boys are not targets of these types of killings," Councilmember Kaplan said.
Grant was 22-years-old when he was killed by BART officer Johannes Mehserle on the Fruitvale station platform. Mehserle drew his pistol and shot Grant in the back while he was handcuffed and face down. Grant was rushed to Highland Hospital and was pronounced dead later that day.
Mehserle said he thought he reached for his Taser when in fact it was his gun. Mehserle was convicted of involuntary manslaughter and sentenced to two years in prison. He was released from custody in 2011.
Multiple videos captured the fatal shooting from different angles. These videos were widely disseminated on social media and to news outlets. The public's reaction of outrage and protests were a precursor to the Black Lives Matter movement.