Ruling: officer who killed Oscar Grant cleared of lawsuit
Johannes Mehserle, the transit officer who shot and killed Oscar Grant in 2009, will not have to pay damages to Grant’s father.
Mehersle had been convicted of manslaughter in 2010 and was released in 2011. The lawsuit was brought by Oscar Grant’s father, Oscar Grant, Jr. The Bay Area Transit Authority (BART) had previously settled with Grant’s friends who were with him on that fateful day as well as his mother and daughter.
The 33-year-old [Mehserle] claims he mistakenly used his service revolver when he wanted to grab a Taser.
Passengers with cellphone cameras recorded the shooting, turning the incident into a national story. Grant’s killing inspired an acclaimed indie movie “Fruitvale Station,” named for the platform where the shooting occurred.
Oscar Grant Jr. — the slain man’s father — filed the federal lawsuit seeking unspecified damages for the loss of the familial association with his son.
“They took the most precious thing in the world to me, my only child,” Grant Jr. said in court, according to CBS San Francisco.
Grant Jr. is serving a life sentence for a murder conviction and was imprisoned for all of his son’s life. But he’s testified that the two had a deep bond, and he expected to strengthen their relationship if he were to have been granted parole.
Mehserle’s defense attorney tried to show that father and son were not quite so close. During cross-examination, Grant Jr. was peppered with questions about the young man’s life. Did he know the name of his son’s school? What high school sports did his son play, if any? Where did he work?
Grant Jr. didn’t know many of these details, according to a separate Tribune article.
This is the first civil lawsuit brought about in the aftermath of Grant’s death.
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