OAKLAND-On Friday over 100 family members, friends and supporters of Oscar Grant gathered to remember him and to mark the 7th anniversary of his death.
The annual vigil is held outside the Fruitvale Bart Station in Oakland, CA, where Grant was fatally shot by BART police officer Johannes Mehserle on New Year’s Day, 2009. The act was captured on video by bystanders. Mehserle was eventually sentenced to only two years in prison for manslaughter.
Since the day of Oscar Grant’s shooting, the community has turned out every year at the location of his death, the Frank H. Ogawa Plaza. Some activists affectionately refer to the Frank H. Ogawa Plaza in Oakland-named after the Japanese American civil rights activist-to Oscar Grant Plaza where many events against police brutality have been held in recent years.
Oscar Grants mother, the Reverend Wanda Johnson has worked since to restore community relations through the Oscar Grant Foundation focusing on Restorative Justice Practices and appeared to speak again at this year’s event. Other speakers included family members and friends of Grant, as well as mothers and family members of others fatally shot by police:
Lori Valdez whose husband Antonio Guzman was gunned down by San Jose police spoke to KGNU at the event. She said that he was shot two times in the back on February 21, 2014.
The audio is difficult to hear, but she talks about how she is working on legislation to support the children of those killed by police and that she has been energized to seek justice.