In federal lawsuit, friends of Oscar Grant reach settlement
Five friends of a California man who was fatally shot by San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit police have reached a settlement.
Jack Bryson Jr., Nigel Bryson, Michael Greer, Carlos Reyes and Fernando Anicete Jr. will split $175,000 as part of a settlement reached late last month against BART.
The men filed a federal civil rights lawsuit for $1.5 million in 2009 claiming excessive force and illegal detainment. Burris said Tuesday that the men are relieved the case is over.
“This closes a very traumatic and tragic chapter for these young men,” he said. “Unfortunately, they will never get over witnessing their friend’s death.”
Trost said the settlement closes the case for a “considerably smaller amount compared to what would have been a long and costly trial if allowed to move forward.”
The five men were detained on BART’s Fruitvale Station platform in Oakland along with Grant, who was shot and killed by then-BART police officer Johannes Mehserle.
The New Year’s Day 2009 shooting was recorded by bystanders and within hours posted online showing Mehserle, who is white, firing a bullet into the back of Grant, who was black, as he lay face-down after being pulled off a train supposedly for fighting.
Through tears, Mehserle testified he meant to use his stun gun instead of his .40 caliber pistol. The shooting sparked a national debate, racial tensions and protests that sometimes turned violent.
Mehserle was later convicted of involuntary manslaughter. The 2013 movie, “Fruitvale Station,” is based on the last day of Oscar Grant’s life.
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