Protesters Against Oscar Grant Verdict Win $1 Million Settlement

OAKLAND, CA - JANUARY 14:  Protestors carry signs with a picture of slain 22-year-old Oscar Grant III during a demonstration at Oakland City Hall January 14, 2009 in Oakland, California. Twelve days after the fatal shooting of Oscar Grant III, former Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) police officer Johannes Mehserle was arrested and charged with murder for shooting Grant in the back as he lay face down on the ground following an altercation on a BART train. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Protesters Against Oscar Grant Verdict Win $1 Million Settlement

Protesters of the Oscar Grant verdict, which sentenced a former BART police officer to two years in prison for the shooting death of Grant, will be rewarded $1 million.

Published June 26, 2013

Protesters who were arrested during demonstrations in November 2010 have won a $1 million settlement from the city of Oakland following the sentencing of a police officer who fatally shot Oscar Grant at a subway stop.

A federal judge approved the settlement, which ends the class-action lawsuit filed by the National Lawyers Guild on behalf of 150 protesters who were arrested but not charged for any crimes.

"We were never given a warning or a chance to leave," Dan Spalding, a legal observer of the National Lawyers Guild, said in a statement. "I tried to tell the officers that I was a Legal Observer, but they handcuffed me and put me on a Sheriff's bus. We were handcuffed and left sitting on the street and then in buses for a total of about eight hours without access to a bathroom. People urinated in their pants as we sat in the hot crowded bus."

Protesters believed BART Officer Johannes Mehserle’s two-year sentence was not enough punishment for the murder of Grant on New Year’s Day in 2009. Mehserle was released on parole June 13, 2011.

The settlement, which was announced Monday by the Lawyer’s Guild, must still go through another round of approval.

On July 26, the film Fruitvale Station will follow the true story of Oscar Grant on the day he was killed. The film, directed by Ryan Coogler, was featured in the 2012 Sundance January Screenwriter’s Lab. 

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(Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Written by Natelege Whaley


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