Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Conflict no more?

One of the questions has been answered: Did Oscar Grant do anything to warrant being shot and killed?


One look at the video clearly shows that the shooting of Grant – the 22-year-old man who was fatally wounded by Bay Area Rapid Transit police after an altercation between he and his friends and another group of men – was not justified.

The question that now remains: Why did the officer pull his gun?

It’s been almost a week since the incident took place and there is little that we know … thanks to BART officials who are "committed to completing an unbiased, thorough and detailed investigation."

We have learned the officer, two-year BART police veteran Johannes Mehserle, turned 27 on Monday and his first child was born within a day or two of the shooting. I can understand this could be why he’s been “unavailable,” but what about Grant’s family and the 4-year-old daughter he left behind?

There is much talk that in the confusion, Mehserle may have thought he was going for his Taser instead. I can go with this theory seeing the look of shock on his face after he shot Grant. But the longer BART and Mehserle remain silent, the number of questions increase and the harder it is for Grant’s family.

A $25 million claim against the BART agency has been filed and civil rights attorney John Burris plans to ask Alameda County prosecutors to seek criminal charges against the officer. But we still need to know: Why did Mehserle pull his gun?

Whatever the answer, it needs to be answered … and soon.

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