Oscar Grant III Is and always will be 22 years old. He lived his life in Oakland, California born to mother Wanda Johnson and father Oscar Grant Jr. on February 27th 1986. At the time of his birth, his father was serving a life sentence for murder, thus making his mother a single parent. Growing up, Grant loved fishing, basketball and baseball. Grant had a strong relationship with his family. It meant the world to him. In 2005, Grant and his girlfriend Sophina welcomed their daughter Tatiana into the world. In October of 2006, Grant made a decision to flee a traffic stop by the San Leandro police, as he was carrying a loaded pistol. He was later arrested and served 16 months in prison. During his time in prison, he earned his GED, and developed a passion for cutting hair. He wanted to become a barber after his release in September 2008.
At 2:00 am on New Year’s Day 2009, Five Bay Area Rapid Transit or, BART officers were dispatched to Fruitvale Station due to reports of two groups of young men fighting on the train. Passengers THOUGHT to be involved in the fight were single out and detained by the BART officers. Grant was detained, although he was not involved in any altercations on that trip. He tried to explain this to a BART officer, but was punched in the face by the officer. Grant was forced to his knees then his stomach by officers that wanted to put handcuffs on him. During this process, Johannes Mehserle, another BART officer, fired his weapon at Grant WHILE HE WAS DETAINED ON THE GROUND. Grant was severely wounded, taken to Highland Hospital, and died later that day.
Mehserle was charged with Second-degree murder, voluntary manslaughter and involuntary manslaughter. He was only found guilty of involuntary manslaughter, because he argued that he mistook his gun for his taser. He was sentenced to 14 months and 30 days, but was released after 11 months.
A 25 million dollar wrongful death suit was filed on behalf of Grant’s mother and daughter. It was settled for 2.8 million. BART also settled several suits from Grant’s friends that were with him, for damages from police brutality.
The film Fruitvale Station portrays the last day of Oscar Grant’s life. The film is a fairly accurate representation, but has some artistic liberties taken.
Kate Klingel is a board member and NHMC Soprano from New Boston, NH.
Sunday, June 19th 2022 4:00 PM
609 Main Street
Tickets are free for undergraduates and students in grades K through 12
$27 for seniors
$32 for general admission
Follow the link below to get your tickets.