By Sandra Rose  | 

A 22-year-old black man out celebrating the New Year with friends in San Francisco, is dead. His killer: a White police officer.

The outrage in the Bar Area is justified over a tragedy that has played itself out time and time again in this country.

The chaotic scene captured on a transit rider's cell phone, shows 3 Bay Area Rapid transit police officers struggling with Oscar Grant who is lying face down on the floor with his hands behind his back.

After what looks like a minor scuffle (Grant is still lying face down), one officer straightens up, draws his weapon and fires at close range into the man's back.

The officer immediately holsters his gun, bends forward with his hands on his knees and drops his head. Clearly he knew he made a fatal error.

BART officials are already setting the stage to exonerate the cop by stating they believe the cop was reaching for what he thought was his taser and grabbed his gun instead.

I can see the press release from the city now:

Our investigation is complete and the facts show that the officer -- acting in self defense because you know all black men are potential threats to white officers even if they're unarmed -- took the appropriate measures to subdue a hostile transit rider. In reaching for his taser, to show that black man who is boss, the officer accidentally discharged his service weapon instead. No charges will be filed.

  • kalvonel

    Good Morning!

    This is the PERFECT opportunity to show the general public that the police too are held accountable for their actions. Just because some MAN gave you a badge doesn't mean you are free to make such critical, life ENDING mistakes and not be held responisble. it is too obvious that this officer intended to use unnecessary force. So he may have been reaching for a teaser. What for? The man was already restrained. Any excuse given for this will be nothing short of pure bullshyt. - IMO

  • MistaO

    I reviewed both of the videos of this murder and after review it is clearly a MURDER. Not self defence or justifiable homicide, it was a blatant MURDER.

    The other officers who were also detaining the young man did not even move or act in a defensive manner as one would expect if the suspect was reaching for something or had a weapon. In the first part of the video you actually see the kid on his knees with his hands in the air and appears to be explaining and being very compliant. Hell, even if he was combative, with 3-4 other officers, on with a knee on his neck, he was hardly any kind of threat.

    This cop excecuted this man, period point blank.

    Also, $25 million is way, way too low for what I saw. They need to be suing for no less than $200 million! I'm serious, maybe then these cities and towns would get serious about instructing their officers not to blatantly KILL Black men. Just ask yourself, when was the last time you saw a cop flat out kill a white male?

    Shid, I've seen cases where white dudes even had guns IN THEIR HANDS and REFUSED TO DROP THEM and the cops take every avenue NOT to use deadly force.

  • yvonne79

    Morning family!

    Reaching for his taser but grabbed his gun instead. Um, does a gun and a taser feel the same? And if the young man was already face down on the ground, why is a taser needed? I don't understand.

  • SRR71

    Sandra, if what you states happens, there will be h*ll to pay in California...Now they did this same mess with Rodney (but he ddn't die) and we have managed to let it go. They then kill Sean Bell and now this....I don't care what he was reaching for, the man was faced down in handcuffs, why was there a need for a taser anyway....Amazying..

  • SlimA

    If the incident had not been caught on video, the police would have called it a justified shooting, this goes on a regular basis. We have had so many taser deaths here in our city and each time our police chief claims it was ustified. God will have the final say in the end.

  • SlimA

    I meant justified.

  • kcicero

    This is not surprising to me, it happens a lot in the inner city. What I want to know is if there had been no cell phones or cameras taken of the event how would this have turned out? It would have been the police version "It was an accident he reached for my gun" against everyone else "This guy was shot in the back while in handcuffs! The Police officer's name has been said by some to be Johannes Mehserle and he's only been on the job for two years.

  • shunda

    I am in tears. Why do so many police officers think our men are worth nothing? This story breaks my heart. This man was trying to calm the situation and telling his friends to just cooperate. Now another young child has lost her father. Damn shame.

  • DivineBrown

    I went to the Huffington post and read about it.

    This cop will be cleared of all charges! You don't have to be a psychic to know that. Why is this still happening?

  • ursmyle4me

    This is sad. Too mnay young black men leaving this world.

  • kcicero

    @ shunda this shooting is appalling I almost cried myself. But I also have been wondering why we as a community don't have the same outrage when it is a black on black shooting? This is tragic but equally as tragic is that we're murdering our own people in the same manner.

  • keely107

    I feel sorry for this family, but this has come to be the norm. Officers can do what the hail they want with no consequence. Wonder why I cant stand em!

  • SlimA

    @ kcicero, girl you preaching now.

  • Daisy

    I am just as outraged with black on black crime. That breaks my heart as well. I feel the difference is cops are supposed to protect and serve not shoot our black men down like they are nothing but dogs. I also feel the black on black crime is so out of control it has just become the way of the world so to speak esp. for those who live in such crime infested areas (so I have heard some of them comment) Last but not least I feel there are ppl in the hood and communities who do try and combat black on black crime they just dont make the local or national news. I work with teens ages 13-18 so I try to do my part to show our youth a better way.

  • kcicero

    Daisy that's awesome that you do that, I wish more people would. I use to tutor underprivileged youth through my university before I had two kids and had to focus on getting my butt out of school. It's definitely something I want to get back into. I'm more so aiming this question to Al and Jesse and the celebrities that come out full force when cases like this happens. Why don't they come out strong and aggressively to end the cycle of violence in our own community?

  • shunda

    I am outraged even more at black on black crime. What happened to community unity. My boyfriend works in the school district here and you will not believe the things some of these kids are willing to do.

  • kcicero

    I knowwww Shunda! My mother works in the school system. I'm about to take my praxis exams and plan to teach in the Philadelphia school system (I'm crazy but I'd like to think that if I can reach one of my students then my life will be worth it). But as a former tutor I heard a lot of off the wall stuff and this was from middle school children!

  • Daisy

    As for rev Al I like him and things he gets a bad rap. Do I agree with everything he does or has done NO. He will tell anybody who ask him that he ONLY shows up on the scene AFTER being called by the family. I listen to his radio show daily I didnt know that bit of info. until then. He said he was sleep in his bed when Sean Bells family called him and asked him to come to the hospital. He does speak out on black on black crime as well as promote stop the violence activites going on all across the country.

  • Daisy

    think=things typo

  • carmelita79

    this is terrible. i watched the cellphone video and to hear the single gunshot and here her say they shot him they shot him was the worst thing. that poor mans family.

    these cops are so quick to draw their weapon on black men because they think that all black men are a threat. its a real shame. when are they going to start training and seeking out proper and sane individuals to join the force. not these uneducated fools

  • free

    ok, so now tasers come with triggers??? don't you have to pull the safety on a gun first?

  • free

    p.s.the situation has to appear DEADLY in order for them to go for their weapon. meaning the standard has to rise for them to think the person is going to KILL them. that's why you don't see any other officers pulling their gun. if it gets to that, you usually see a police officer put his hand on the holster and/or unclip it in anticipation of pulling the gun but TO STAND UP, UNCLIP THE HOLSTER, REMOVE THE GUN, POINT, AND SHOOT is indefensible in this case.

  • kcicero

    Well Daisy I live in Elkins Park which you may or may not know is right next door to Philadelphia, which has had an alarming high murder rate. I've never once heard of Rev. Al showing up or speaking out. So while he may do those things I have never seen him in my neck of the woods.

    Anyway does anyone know what a taser feels like in comparison to a gun?

  • kcicero

    * I have never seen him in my neck of the words over BOB crime, but he has spoken out about police abuse...

  • Daisy

    I know he has mentioned attending the stop the violence rallies in Philly with Will and Jada.

  • kcicero

    Well I guess you would know since you listen to him, which I don't but attending stop the violence rallies is not enough. We need a group of men, with major names going from corner to corner in our major cities rounding our Black men up in one room and have intensive sessions about how BOB crime is hurting our community! That's the type of activism I want to see, and I think is needed to help fix this problem.

  • Deep Thoughts

    As I aid on another site, I feel sorry for the family but at this point I'm numb. I'm numb because as a researcher it completely shocks me how the media chooses to keep us in the dark by not publicizing our crimes and especially how many officers die in our communities. I think Society wants to keep Black people in the dark about this so that they can continue to feel like victims and not improve their community. They love to hand us cases like this to get us rallied up, when in reality we do far more damage to ourselves and others. Have ya'll seen this site, I can't believe these sites are being created but I think it's something we need to reflect on instead of ignoring it and waiting for instance like this to distract us from problems that need solving. This is what Society wants.

  • spongebobfan

    this is a very clear video of what happened

    MURDER plain and simple

  • starr

    Honestly......what else is new?? It happens all the time, and unfortunately, most black folks is losing their energy to fight this like this. Diallo, Sean Bell......they all got off. Heck, I'd be shocked if these pigs see a day in jail.

  • Deep Thoughts

    I also have a question for the community, Why would this officer shoot this man in front of everyone, onlookers his collegues anyone. If it's pure racism can't he go patrol around and look for a Black Man that is by himself and shoot him. Why would he want to go to trail and be dragged through the mud on national T.V. and the court system. Or maybe his family pissed him off so much he wants them to have to deal with this too. It just doesn't make sense community. Stop letting Society had us victim cards to distract us. And quite frankly these things happen, just like Black Men "accidentally" shooting a toddler in the community. When we hear about this everyday then that's when one should be alarmed. I just can't relate to the fact that we just don't dig deeper. It makes us seem reactionary and animalistic, leave that to the family they have the right to grieve and be irrational, there is much emotion involved. I look at this with logic.

  • kcicero

    Deep thought I was with you until you likened this to Black Men accidentally shooting toddler's in the community. This is not the same. I feel you about our community not standing up about BOB crime I said as much at an earlier post. But this also needs to be dealt with and the difference in these cases is it is a Police officer that is suppose to be trained on how to deal with situations like these.

    There was no need for a gun. The guy was subdued and probably one of the more sensible ones out of the bunch from what witnesses say. The cop could have avoided this by not taking out his gun at all, the guy was face down on the ground and his neck or head being held down with a police officer's knee he was not struggling. Wrong is Wrong. The police don't get a pass either!

  • Daisy

    I never said it was enough. I let ppl do them and do what they feel is right to help the situation. I am not one to say how somebody should help as long as they are trying to help. You have your way I have mine and im sure Rev Al and anybody else has their own way. He can come out against it all he wants so can Pres. Elect it will take more than rallies, and speeches to make a difference in these communities to reach these young men who are so very lost.

  • kalvonel

    @ kcicero. honestly some teasers do feel similar to guns. in weight and ergononmics. The question of wether this cop needed anything, be it a teaser, gun, switch, belt, billy club, baton, etc is what makes this an execution.

  • Imalover

    Kcicero, I don't think you're crazy at all for wanting to make a difference. If the parents aren't doing their jobs at home then the next, and probably last, line of defense for these neglected kids are the teachers. I too have decided to become a teacher and used to be a tutor/mentor to under privilege youth. Girl, I know you know, but I was so saddened and disheartened by my little students’ lack of hope for the future.

    Many in my family are educators and/or school administrators so I've seen and heard my share of horror stories. Sadly, some of the teachers are just as out of control and apathetic as the students. My mom calls me almost everyday with a new ghetto teacher story.

    I visited my mother’s school, which also happens to be my old middle school, a few days after Obama was named President Elect and while there encountered one of her students. To make a long story short, I asked this 7th grader how she felt about having our first black president. She looked down at her feet, shoulders slumped and replied emotionlessly "I-own-no". After a few silent seconds, because I was floored, her eyes lit up, she smiled then looked at me in my eyes and said, "But dis boy in my class say Obama gonna give errbody mo food stamps"! I died a little and when I regained myself, I had an half an hour conversation with undiscovered winner and gave her a little knowledge, hope and love. Then I promised her I would keep in touch. She stayed glued to my side until I had to leave at which time she begged me to stay. That experience confirmed my decision to become a teacher.

    As far as THIS story is concerned, in my opinion this situation didn’t even justify even a taser being used... so there is no excuse!

  • Bird

    I actually believe it was an accident. There is no way the cop would kill that boy in cold blood like that in front of witnesses. Still, it doesn't appear to me that he needed to use his taser anyway so either way he is still in the wrong.

  • Ms.Tia

    i'm sorry but a taser and a gun dont look nor feel the same and once you feel the triger you had to know that it wasnt a me the cop was annoyed and in a moment of frustration made the wrong choice.....this NEVER happens to a white man it ALWAYS happens to a black man...ALWAYS!!! i'm so upset and i dont know why this hits home for me and why i feel so affected....maybe because i have a male cousin living in oakland and it could have easily been him. I pray that this cop gets exactly what he deserves and they win all the money!

  • MistaO

    Perplexing thing too is you still got ole negroes out here still making excuses for whites when these murders happen. "Oh tasers do feel like gun" ect... Well if you know or are in Law Enforcement, tasers issued to officers have several built in features that readily distinguish themselves (by touch and feel) from any service weapon.

    This my friends was no mistake. And to the question of why he would murder this man in front of so many witnesses, who's to say he hasn't done this type of thing before sans witnesses and felt he could get away with it anyways? Regardless of two years on the job or not. Plus it says a whole lot about the general mentality he (and possibly many others in that department) has towards Black men in general. Trust, if that man was white, he would have never pulled that gun.

    And another thing, if he thought he had his taser why did you see NO visable reaction of surprise or shock from the shooter that one would expect after dropping hot lead instead of taser probes into a man???

  • MistaO

    Just wanted to say again that some of you "black" people are pathethic the way you carry on to make excuses for white folk killing our people. Classic slave mentalities on display.

    We the only people who have an abundant portion of folks in our ranks who think like this.

  • kcicero

    @ Imalover that's great! We're going to need as many women and men as possible in teaching positions that really care like you and I do to make a difference!

    That poor child! They say that kids are the bearers of truth! I am not surprised by that statement but I'm glad that you talked with her and I hope you do remain in touch because it is people like you who made all the difference in my life!

    On another note I have a cousin who is a life long welfare recipient who works for a couple of months to meet the requirements that Bill Clinton put into place for the welfare system then quits and lives off of the system. She gets food stamps and cash for her kids and she puts down that someone else is watching her kids when their really in a free program and she pockets the money. I hope that makes sense...but either way she is majorly gaming the system and sees nothing wrong with it.

    Growing up in the projects this was the mentality that was all around. But a lot of these people don't know any better that's why I am determined to help in any way I can to lift my community up!

  • missnee

    @ Free

    Tasers do have a trigger. (Note i'm just stating a fact, not justifying)

    Police officers do not keep their weapons on safety

  • missmiami

    Too sad! Excuse me but let again I'll say that is why I don't feel sorry when those pigs are gunned down in cold blood. At some point all cops become corrupt. Fucking bastards!!!!!!!!!! BTW, if you don't like what I'm saying keep it moving.

    Too many innocent young black men are gunned down like animals forcing their young children to continue being fatherless and thus the cycle repeats itself.

  • miamore73

    I think the officer made a mistake. It's pretty obvious that he thought he was reaching for something else. While I don't agree with everything the police do I do think it would be dumb as hell to shoot someone that's already in a submissive position point blank in the back in a Bart station. The officer should definately be put on leave and made to face some serious counseling. If this was indeed a mistake (which I think it was) he gotta be all f 'd up in the head.

    On another hand this is the perfect example of putting yourself in a bad situation. If he wasn't fighting on a damn train in the first place he wouldn't have been shot. This was a grown man but if you teach your kids to stay in positive situations this isn't likely to happen to them. I'm not saying it doesn't happen to people that are doing the right thing it changes lessens the odds.

  • kcicero

    There's no evidence that he was the one fighting! All of the witnesses said that he was trying to get the other boys to calm down and be cool...and even it he was the one fighting since when does fighting get you a bullet in the back and in the lungs after the police have subdued you?

  • miamore73

    Is there any evidence or witnesses that said he wasn't fighting.

    While we do have plenty of young black men that are doing positive things and still get caught up with the police, or still shot by gangs in my opinion it's still better to put yourself in positive situations vs. negative situations such as this.

    As parents and adults we have to teach our kids a more positive and productive road to follow. When I say our I don't mean mine or yours I mean ours as a black people. I went to school in Inglewood, CA and I've seen pictures from the 80's and 90's recently of past classmates and half of the boys in these pictures have RIP over their head in almost every picture there is a black man/boy/manchild with Rest In Peace over his head. At the time these kids thought that what they were doing was cool and fun. It just landed most of them in jail or the cemetary. We as a people have to better by our children.

    This isn't to say what this guy was or wasn't doing. He could have just been at the wrong place at the wrong time. It could have just been his day and time to go, who knows.

  • Vegas Dice

    I'm from the Bay Area.. Thanks for posting this for everyone to see!!

    There is a protest going on today @ the Fruitvale BART Station from 3pm-8pm PST..

    This shooting was MURDER!

    The officer has NOT been interviewed by anyone regarding the shooting, not even BART! He's on leave with his new baby that was born 2 days after he killed someone elses baby!

    For more information about this case:

    RIP to Oscar Grant, who pleaded for his life before it was viciously taken from him!

  • SlimA

    @ miamore73

    I wonder if you would feel the same way if this was your child, brother, uncle, or friend. Something to think about.

  • kcicero

    This just goes to show how insensitive some folks can be...

  • miamore73

    @SlimA it would depend on if I felt like I did everything to lead my child in the right direction.

    Again, I'm not assuming to know what Oscar Grant was or wasn't doing.

    My opinion is in more a general direction.

    You can place blame or you can accept it. If you know your brother was out there bangin with pookie and dem and gets shot who's fault is it. How do you feel. Yes you grieve over the loss of your loved but you also know the life this person led.

    Also I applaud the fact that folks are going out to protest the death of this boy. If you feel this was an injustice than I totally agree with protesting it. If you say nothing than nothing will happen. At least this way it will put a fire under someones but to actually interview the police officer and properly investigate the situation. I love that the apathetic attitudes of the last 10 to 15 years are finally being pushed aside.

  • miamore73

    @ kcicero I'm not being insensitive and don't assume to know me or my emotions. This is just my opinion. I would hope that this case is fully investigated and if the police officers were negligent than yes I would expect for him to be dealt with severely.

    Like I said I hope the protest lights a fire under some high needs to be voted in again officials butt to get a proper investigation under way.

  • Imalover

    @kcicero, I love your spirit... I think I just found my alter-ego... cyber hug!

    @Vegas Dice, thanks for the inside scoop and the link.

  • kcicero

    Aww lol cyber hug back at you!

  • SlimA

    @ miamore73

    It is the law, that once a person has assummed the position and in handcuffs, they deserve to given a fair trial and not gunned down like some hunting expedition. This goes for Pookie and dem, if the cop is justified in shooting a handcuffed man, he could also be justified in shooting you for a speeding ticket while proceeding to pull your license out of your purse. I pray that you are never in this type of situation. I don't assume to know this man, but no one deserves to be shot execution style while on the ground in handcuffs with 3 other officers for back-up. If this was the case we wouldn't need a jury system or a jail. You are innocent until proven guilty. Man down!

  • miamore73

    It is the law I agree with that. I don't think your getting my point so I'm done.

    Code 10!

  • candycane

    OH I AM SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO PISSED THE FLUCK OFF ABOUT THIS. THAT MAN BETTER CATCH A CRIMINAL CHARGE. There was NO, NO NOOOOOOOOOO fluckin reason for him to pull his gun OR taser if the man was already down with two officers holding him down. Dayum shame.

  • terika83

    Ok, I can see the mistake but UNTIL a taser gun has a trigger...I don't buy it and that shot should not have been fired. That was cruel...I couldn't imagine losing a loved one to this mess.

  • Bird


    If it is any consulation I get where you are coming from and agree 100%. Isn't sad that so many people don't have a clue what you are talking about? THAT is why our community is in the fix it's in. We have 1000 excuses for our bull crap.




    Yeah I get it, but sadly many in our community don't. They want criminals to be pampered. Especially if they are black and the police wind up busting a cap in their behinds.

  • spongebobfan

    Even if this was a case of 'Opps i grabbed the wrong weapon' Involuntary Manslaughter at the least is what he should be charged with, looking at the video, and subdued man lying face down did not even warrant a taser much less a bullet through the back, a ricochet of the floor and into his lungs, what could he have done that wrong to deserve that? was that officers life in danger NO! Murder this man deserves JAIL

  • Vegas Dice

    **UPDATE: The officer who fired the fatal shot has resigned from BART WITHOUT talking to internal affairs about the incident.

    To this day he hasn't said a word about what happened, and now he doesn't have to answer the question...

    I suggest he takes the death threats seriously because people out here are LIVID!

    For more info about the case:

  • miamore73

    spongebob I can get down with that. The man was subdued and shot I do think the police officer should get manslaughter. That would probably help (but I doubt it) in teaching police officers to be careful when pulling a deadly weapon.

    Thank You Bird that's exactly what I mean. Teach your babies right from wrong instead of making excuses for their actions. When your sons grow up we can see right here the police don't wanna hear his excuses for shit. We can't continue to blame "the man" for our fuck ups. This shit starts at home with the parents.

  • SlimA

    I agree with parenting starting at home, but none of us know what type of life this man lead. Many of us on this website has probably dealt with the police one way or another. We can teach our children the path they should go but as we all know kids will stray from the teaching. I think some of you are missing the point that an innocent life was taken over a fight. Give me a break, I don't condone violence one bit, but the man didn't deserve to be shot no matter if he was white, black, purple of green. we are talking the law here people. Get a clue!