Oakland City Council President Rebecca Kaplan’s resolution to give an unnamed road next to Fruitvale BART Station a name: “Oscar Grant Way” passed City Council tonight.
Oakland, CA – Today at the Oakland City Council meeting (Link to Agenda) Council President Rebecca Kaplan’s Resolution (Link to Agenda Item S7.14) she co-authored with Former Councilmember Desley Brooks to request BART name “Oscar Grant Way” (Link to press coverage) was passed unanimously by the full Council.
Oscar Grant III was a 22-year-old African-American man who was fatally shot in the early morning hours of New Year’s Day 2009 by BART Police Officer Johannes Mehserle in Oakland, California. On a crowded Bay Area Rapid Transit train returning from San Francisco, BART Police officers detained Grant and several other passengers on the platform at the Fruitvale BART Station. Two officers, including Mehserle, forced the unarmed Grant to lie face down on the platform. Mehserle drew his pistol and shot Grant in the back. Grant was rushed to Highland Hospital in Oakland and pronounced dead later that day.
The events were captured on multiple official and private digital video and privately-owned cell phone cameras. Owners disseminated their footage to media outlets and to various websites where it became viral. Numerous protests of police actions took place in the following days.
Kaplan said: “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.”
Oscar Grant’s Uncle Cephus Johnson said: “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.”
Oscar Grant’s Mother Wanda Johnson thanked the Council, Desley Brooks, and the community and vowed to move forward in making Oakland a better city.
Rebecca Kaplan is Oakland’s 3-Term At-Large Councilmember