All These Years Later, The Truth About His Death Came To Light

vigil being held for oscar grant
William Anderson
November 5, 2022

We’ll never forget Oscar Grant, the 22-year-old man killed by a Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) police officer in 2009. His murder shocked and angered Black America - and the rest of the world. Justice never came – but a decade later new information reopened the wound in the worst way.

California’s 2019 transparency law, SB 1421, brought BART’s buried internal report to light. According to it, Officer Anthony Pirone, who was on the scene, called Grant “nigger,” punched him, and lied about everything to investigators.

And that’s just the beginning.

Johannes Mehserle – the cop who killed Grant – KNEW what he was doing, and investigators knew too.

Contradicting Mehserle’s defense that he meant to pull his Taser, the report exposed that Mehserle attempted to pull his gun twice, based on enhanced video evidence. He even looked directly at his gun holster.

BART and the police force defended Johannes Mehserle, fully aware Oscar Grant’s killing was a racist execution. And for his involuntary manslaughter conviction, Mehserle didn’t even serve a full year in prison!

The truth coming out is a positive, necessary thing. But it’s still heartbreaking. Grant should be with his family, and the officers who did this should have faced accountability. 

Unfortunately, the anti-Black criminal legal system was built for them – not us. What can we do? Build something new to honor Grant’s life.

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