Grant family says they are hopeful new charges will be filed in BART killing


The family of Oscar Grant says they are hopeful that charges will be filed against a second BART Police officer involved in his death, after a meeting with the Alameda County District Attorney.

DA Nancy O’Malley announced earlier this month that her office was reopening the controversial case.

“We are cautiously optimistic that a thorough investigation will take place,” said Grant’s uncle Cephus Johnson.

Grant was shot in the back while lying face down at the Fruitvale BART station in the early morning hours of New Year’s Day 2009.

Former BART Police officer Johannes Mehserle filed the fatal shot and was convicted of involuntary manslaughter in 2010. He served 11 months in prison before being released.

O’Malley’s office is now investigating whether or not charges should be filed against his fellow former officer Anthony Pirone. According to an internal BART Police report, Pirone punched Grant and used his knee to hold him down.

Johnson says those circumstances were similar to the killing of George Floyd. “What happened to George Floyd really reopened our wounds because the exact same knee was put on Oscar’s neck.”

Grant’s mother Wanda Johnson says she hopes the DA will consider multiple cell phone videos of the shooting.

“Yes, there is a job that has to be done,” she said of the new investigation. “But if it is done correctly and fairly, the officer will be charged.”

O'Mally's office declined to comment, but Grant's family says they've been promised a robust, thorough and transparent investigation.

“Getting justice for Oscar will be some sort of help for us to heal from this gaping wound,” his uncle said.