Bay Area Train System to Pay Grieving Mother $1.3 Million

Oscar Grant was killed in Oakland by a police officer on New Year's Day 2009.

Posted: 06/29/2011 08:42 AM EDT
Filed Under police brutality

The Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) Tuesday agreed to pay Wanda Johnson $1.3 million to settle the wrongful death and violation of civil rights lawsuit that Johnson had filed against former BART police officer Johannes Mehserle and the transit system for the death of her son.


The mother of Oscar Grant, who was shot and killed by Mehserle on New Year’s Day 2009 while unarmed, had sought $50 million.


“This brings closure to these events in a way that's necessary. She's very emotional, but she saw it was in her best interests to move on," said John Burris, Johnson's attorney.


Grant, 22, was killed as he lay face down on a BART subway platform in Oakland, California, after being taken off a train for suspicion of fighting. The shooting was recorded by bystanders and went viral on the Web.


On the video, Mehserle is seen firing a bullet into Grant’s back. The officer later testified that he was reaching for his stun gun and inadvertently grabbed his .40-caliber pistol.


Mehserle was convicted of involuntary manslaughter and sentenced to two years in jail. Earlier this month he was released from Los Angeles County Jail after serving 11 months of the sentence.

(Photo: Michael Maloney)

Do you think the amount of the settlement was fair?