Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Settlement reached for Oscar Grant's family

A San Francisco Bay area transit agency Tuesday agreed to pay $1.3 million to the mother of Oscar Grant, a 22-year-old unarmed black man who was fatally shot by a white transit officer in 2009.

The settlement between Bay Area Rapid Transit and Wanda Johnson resolves a $50 million wrongful death and civil rights lawsuit filed in federal court by Grant's family. This is the second settlement that BART reached with the Grant family. The agency agreed to pay $1.5 million to the mother of Grant's 6-year-old daughter last year.

Former BART officer Johannes Mehserle, 29, was convicted last year of involuntary manslaughter for fatally shooting Grant on an Oakland tran station platform on New Years Day in 2009. Mehserle was released this month after serving one year in an Los Angeles jail.

The shooting was recorded by bystanders and within hours, the videos were posted online showing Mehserle firing a bullet into the back of Grant as he lay face down after being pulled off a train, supposedly for fighting. Mehserle testified that he meant to use his stun gun instead of his .40-caliber pistol.

A civil rights suit filed by Grant's family is still in litigation.

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