Six Years After Her Son Was Executed By Police in Oakland BART station, Oscar Grant's Mom "Condemns Police Brutality, We Also Condemn And Protest Black On Black Violence"
By Martin Hill
January 2, 2015


The Oscar Grant Foundation holds an annual event in honor of the slain 22-year-old Grant. In 2015 Grant's mother Wanda Johnson posted an update on the group's Facebook page which stated, in part, "Supporters, we not only condemn Police brutality, we also condemn and protest black on black violence. All lives matters, not just the one killed by police."

On January 1, 2009, 22-year-old Oscar Grant was shot execution style in an Oakland train station, a killing captured by witnesses on cell phone video which shocked the world. 28 year old police officer Johannes Mehserle eventually went to trial for the killing. During trial, Mehserle testified that he had almost no experience with firearms before joining the police force. He said he never owned guns before becoming a cop and had shot a gun "maybe once...My dad took me to the shooting range, at about thirteen, and that was it." He was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter and not guilty of second-degree murder and voluntary manslaughter. He served a year in jail and got out in June of 2011. Wanda Johnson, Grant's mother, meanwhile started the Oscar Grant Foundation and is active nationwide working to curb police violence.

The Oscar Grant Foundation ( holds an annual event in honor of the 22 year old Grant. Ms. Johnson posts updates on the group's Facebook page. On December 31 was a message which read "Supporters, we not only condemn Police brutality,we also condemn and protest black on black violence. All lives matters, not just the one killed by police. Here Wanda Johnson and Cephus Johnson speaking up and supporting a Bay area family who lost 2 sons."

On Dec. 30: "Come Celebrate the life of Oscar 6th Annual vigil Gone but not forgotten. Meet us at the Grant Station 12noon Jan 1,2015."

On 12/17: "Wanda Johnson, Director of Oscar Grant Foundation(and mother of Oscar Grant):Keynote speaker at Oakland Town Hall Meeting with government officials" and "The Oscar Grant Foundation welcomed Mike Brown Sr. To the Bay at Mission High School!!the children needed to hear from him!!" Also posted were messages such as "Standing firm with other mothers against police violence and all other violence against our must end now!!" and "In Washington D.C unifying with other Mothers who have lost their children!!! Representing Oscar Grant Foundation, Wanda Johnson, mother of Oscar Grant, with many other beautiful families and organizations!! RIP!"

Here is a news report on the Oscar Grant killing from 2009:
Police Shoot Unarmed Man in the Back Execution Style in CA Local News Report

As reported on 7/6/10:

"Surprisingly little attention has been given to the murder trial of a former police officer who shot 22-year-old Oscar Grant in the back at a California BART train station on the first day of 2009. Numerous train riders captured the shooting on their cell phone video cams, and were forced to flee from police, who sought to seize all cameras during the ensuing chaos. Many of the videos of the shooting were then posted on YouTube.

The former officer, Johannes Mehserle, claims that he fired his weapon on accident, intending instead to use his tazer. While testifiying in his defense at trial, Mehserle claimed that he had barely ever fired a gun before becoming an officer, maybe only once.

Detective Alex Hidas of the San Leandro police department also testified for the defense. Press reports have noted the D.A.'s less than enthusiastic presentation: "Prosecutors have said Mehserle, 28, intended to shoot Grant, and that he used his weapon because officers were losing control of the situation. However, Alameda County Deputy District Attorney Dave Stein didn't appear to present much direct evidence that shows Mehserle intentionally shot Grant."

Oakland cops staged a practice 'riot' drill in anticipation of the Mehserle verdict chronicle a few weeks ago. Protests against police brutality have been held in support of Oscar Grant outside the trial in Los Angeles.

There have been other cases in which jurors acquitted officers involved in what were by all accounts, inappropriate and needless shootings. In January 2006, Air Force senior Airman Elio Carrion was shot three times by San Bernardino County Sheriff's Deputy Ivory J. Webb Jr. after a a police pursuit in Chino, California. Carrion had been on leave from the service and was slated to return to Iraq in a month. He was the passenger in a car driven by a friend, who was later charged with attempting to evade police. After being stopped, Carrion exited the vehicle, got on the ground and was complying with an order by Web to 'get up' , after which Webb shot him three times. The shooting was captured on videtapee by a neighbor, who was promptly arrested by police after turning over the video. Webb was charged with attempted voluntary manslaughter and placed on paid leave.

In June 2007, Webb was found not guilty after jurors deliverated barely two hours. Carrion's lawyer, Luis Carrillo, said at the time that "The residents of San Bernardino (County) are so conservative, they put police officers above the law,...There is no justice."

The family allegedly wanted prosecutors to pursue federal charges against Webb in pursuit of justice. San Bernardino County later County reached a $1.5 million settlement with Carrion, and Webb later filed for bankruptcy. had also reported earlier in the trial, on June 25, 2010: Cop on trial for murder had only shot a gun 'maybe once' :
28 year old former police officer Johannes Mehserle is on trial in Los Angeles for the murder of Oscar Grant, and testified in his defense yesterday. Grant, a 22 year old black man who Mehserle shot in the back, had already been handcuffed and placed on his stomach in an Oakland CA BART train station on January 1, 2009. Multiple bystanders caught the murder on their cell phone videocams, and had to escape from police, who sought to confiscate their cameras after the shooting. Thankfully, many of them fled the rogue cops and released the videos to the world.

Mehserle took the stand in his defense yesterday, and according to a report from, defense attorney Michael L. Rains sought to 'humanize' Mehserle and emphasize the his lack of training with both tazers and firearms. According to testimony, Mehserle had almost no experience with firearms before joining the police force. He said he never owned guns before becoming a cop and had shot a gun "maybe once...My dad took me to the shooting range, at about thirteen, and that was it."

The L.A. Times reported Mehserle cried on the stand, saying "I thought it was my Taser, I didn't think I had my gun." The former officer then recounted how after he shot Grant, the victim looked at him and said "you shot me". As Mehserle recounted this, he reportedly began sobbing, and Grant's mother walked out of the courtroom. A courtroom spectator, later identified as 24 year old Timothy Killings, shouted "You should save those ... tears, dude." Killings was reportedly arrested for disrupting the court, which then had a recess. In the weeks before testifying, Mehserle reportedly rarely looked at or acknowledged anyone but his defense team.

The Oakland Tribune reported that "Carlos Reyes, a friend of Grant's who sat about 2 feet away from the 22-year-old Hayward man when he was shot, said Mehserle appeared shocked and shouted, "Oh (expletive), oh God, I shot him."

Alameda County Deputy District Attorney David R. Stein is prosecuting the case. Shortly after the shooting, posted an audio interview with a friend of Grant's who witnessed the murder: "At yesterday's protest Salvin Moore, a former classmate of Oscar Grant, gives his eye witness account of what occurred at Fruitvale station the night his friend was slain." YouthRadio's twitter account is posting updates on the trial.

The case has received surprising little media attention in Los Angeles. The latest revelations by the former officer reveal, perhaps, a result of an anti-gun culture which has permeated society in the last few decades. Police departments often urge the public to "report illegal guns', to turn in their guns for cash, and oftentimes arrest innocent people for having firearms, such as the case of New Orleans resident Patricia Konie, an elderly woman who was brutalized by police for simply showing them she had a pistol to protect herself. A couple in Houston was recently stopped and the driver arrested for legally carrying a firearm concealed under the seat, despite the fact that this is undeniably legal in Texas.

Meanwhile, the cops that are competent enough to differenciate between their tazers and pistols use them to tazer 86 year old grandmothers, unarmed leggless men in wheelchairs, and ten year old girls.

Oscar Grant's death was an unspeakable tragedy, which was facilitated in part by a dumbed down culture which entrusts incompetent control-freak cops with deadly weapons. Something needs to be done. For the sake of Los Angeles, Oakland, and the especially the Grant family, I hope justice will be served in this case.

Wikipedia notes: "On July 8, 2010, the jury returned its verdict: Mehserle was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter and not guilty of second-degree murder and voluntary manslaughter. Initial protests against the ruling were peacefully organized; looting, arson, destruction of property, and small riots broke out after dark. Nearly 80 people were eventually arrested. On July 9, 2010, the U.S. Justice Department opened a civil rights investigation against Mehserle as the federal government can prosecute independently for the same act under the separate sovereigns exception to double jeopardy, though no charges have been filed to date. On November 5, 2010, Mehserle was sentenced to two years, minus time served. He served his time in the Los Angeles County Jail, occupying a private cell away from other prisoners. He was released on May 3, 2011 and is now on parole."

On 6/13/11, The SF Chronicle reported: "Former BART police Officer Johannes Mehserle emerged quietly from a Los Angeles jail early Monday after serving half of a two-year sentence for involuntary manslaughter in the shooting of unarmed train rider Oscar Grant... The 12:01 a.m. release was "uneventful," said Steve Whitmore, a spokesman for the Los Angeles County sheriff. He declined to say exactly where Mehserle had gone after becoming a free man, but added, "We did make some special considerations for his safety."

Just last month, on Dec. 8th, the SF Chronicle reported that 'an arbitrator has upheld the firing of former BART police Officer Anthony Pirone for his role in the 2009 shooting' of Grant. In a civil suit, the court 'declined to grant Pirone immunity from being sued, saying the stop was "constitutionally unsound," citing "the questionable nature of Pirone’s authority to detain the group for a misdemeanor that abated before his arrival."


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Martin Hill is a Catholic paleoconservative and civil rights advocate. His work has been featured in the Los Angeles Daily News, San Gabriel Valley Tribune, The Orange County Register, KNBC4 TV Los Angeles, The Press Enterprise,,,,, Economic Policy Journal,, FreedomsPhoenix, Haaretz, TMZ, Veterans Today, Jonathan Turley blog, The Dr. Katherine Albrecht Show, National Motorists Association,,, WorldNetDaily,,,,, Dr. Kevin Barrett's Truth Jihad radio show,, Pasadena Weekly,, Los Angeles Catholic Lay Mission Newspaper, KFI AM 640,, Redlands Daily Facts,, BlackBoxVoting, The Michael Badnarik Show, The Wayne Madsen Report,,,,, The Contra Costa Times, Pasadena Star News, Silicon Valley Mercury News, Long Beach Press Telegram, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, L.A. Harbor Daily Breeze,,, Whittier Daily News, KCLA FM Hollywood, The Fullerton Observer,, From The Trenches World Report, and many others. Archives can be found at and DontWakeMeUp.Org.

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