Barely two hours into the new year, Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) officials closed the Fruitvale Station in Oakland due to reports of shouting and fighting onboard one of the trains. BART police officers began to isolate and restrain those suspected of involvement. Sadly, the police did not stop there.
22-year-old Oscar Grant, father to a young daughter, was among those restrained. Then, without any apparent provocation, a trio of metro cops took Grant from his position sitting against the wall and held him face-down against the ground. Within seconds, one of the cops (who authorities refuse to identify, and perhaps even to interview) removed his gun from its holster and fired a fatal shot into Grant's back.
BART's spokesman emphasized that "Mr. Grant was not restrained when the officer's firearm discharged." However, that is not the story told by video recordings of the tragedy.
According to witnesses, police seized personal cell phones used to record videos of the klling. But officers were unable to confiscate them all. KTVU News obtained and broadcast a number of these cell phone videos recorded by onlookers. The clip linked to above most clearly captures the horrifying events.
(KTVU's full segment on the killing.)
A sad tip-of-the-hat to The Agitator (Reason Senior Editor Radley Balko).