Monday, January 12, 2009

More than one victim

Sunday afternoon, I sat in on one of the several town hall meetings held to discuss the shooting of a Hayward man by BART police.

The community and local leaders stepped up to the mic, one by one, to express their frustration and concern over the senseless murder of Oscar Grant III of Hayward. It was similar to the other community meetings, town halls and public protests over the past two weeks, where people were allowed to voice their opinions.

However, during this gathering, there was a point made by Oakland Councilwoman Nancy Nadel (District 3) that I, and I’m sure others, have forgotten.

“There is one issue in particular that I think we need to deal with … the healing of everyone who was harmed,” she said. “We have to take some action in reaching out to them. And ask them what they need to be healed.”

She’s right. We, as a community, have been so immersed in finding answers as to why former BART officer Johannes Mehserle shot and killed Grant – and rightfully so – that we have failed to realize there were additional victims on the Fruitvale station platform that early morning.

The young men involved went through something that goes deep – they watched a friend be killed in front of their eyes, within a few feet, for no apparent reason.

As we continue our search for answers, we need to reach out to these “survivors” of the BART New Year's Day shooting and offer them our care and assistance.

Read more coverage at The Globe Newspapers.

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