Jury rejects civil claim of Oscar Grant III's imprisoned father

Oscar Grant III

When a jury in San Francisco this week rejected the civil lawsuit claims of Oscar Grant Jr., the imprisoned father of Oscar Grant III — who was shot to death by then-BART Police Officer Johannes Mehserle on the platform of Fruitvale Station on New Year’s Day 2009 — were jurors exhibiting a bias against convicted criminals?

That’s the contention of Grant’s attorney, Waukeen McCoy, who tells the Guardian, “I think they were trying to find something to not give him anything because he’s in prison,” adding that, “The jury clearly did not understand the evidence.”

The elder Grant is in prison in Solano County for a 1985 murder in Oakland, and McCoy said he could be granted parole as soon as next year. McCoy said any financial gain in the case would have gone to restitution for the family of Grant’s victim, to help his granddaughter, and to help ease his own transition into civilian life if paroled.

Grant was divorced from his son’s mother, Wanda Johnson, but McCoy said both the mother and son visited Grant regularly in prison. The civil suit and its “loss of familial relations” standard required Grant Jr. to show he was affected by Mehserle killing his son and that the shooting wasn’t justified, as the courts have already concluded.

“The mom clearly wanted her son to bond with the father, and one reason was to keep him out of trouble,” McCoy said, who said prison logs showed Johnson visiting Grant 82 times.

But McCoy said Mehserle’s attorney, Michael Rains, used the log — which didn’t contain the younger Grant’s name — to sow doubts about the father-and-son relationship and deny Grant joined the visits, even though McCoy say Grant III was along on every visit and that was the purpose of Johnson visiting her ex-husband.  

“There was a relationship there,” McCoy said.

That prison log was one of a few possible grounds for appeal, McCoy told us, although they haven’t yet made the decision whether to appeal. Another was possible jury bias after jurors were told of previous civil settlements totaling about $3 million that Johnson and the slain man’s girlfriend, daughter, and friends received from BART and Mehserle, who was convicted of involutary manslaughter in the killing and served about a year in prison.

“There were a lot of things going on here. I think the jury knew about the previous settlements,” McCoy said, “and they didn’t want to award any more.”

Barring a successful appeal, this verdict would seem to end the emotionally wrenching saga involving Mehserle killing Grant, which was dramatized in the film Fruitvale Station and which led to several raucous street demonstrations against police abuse and racism in Oakland, some of which turned into riots (and some of which resulted in their own civil settlements), and state legislation finally creating limited civilian oversight over BART Police


rap. I suspect that the jurers figured it out anyway since it is public information.

The result here seems fair to me. I would have found the same way.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 03, 2014 @ 3:08 pm

The baby daddy ain't gettin' a check :-(

Posted by Guest on Jul. 03, 2014 @ 3:19 pm

didn't we have drinks at the 9th-hole clubhouse last saturday? nice to see you doing The Lord's work here!

Posted by ChristianPatriotLandowner on Jul. 04, 2014 @ 11:02 am

If you're going to be snide, at least get it right.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 05, 2014 @ 6:16 am

there's a clubhouse at the 9th hole because it's halfway through the course. but there's no way you could know that since real Christian Patriot Landowners don't allow commoners like you in our private clubs. we just pay you to shill for us on social media sites. Tally Ho!

Posted by ChristianPatriotLandlord on Jul. 07, 2014 @ 10:19 pm

There's the paid shills and then there's this "other" troll who is a lawyer, so he should already know where the clubhouse is on the golf course. Or he would anyway, if he didn't spend his days trolling Bay Area news sites. Cheers!

Posted by Guest on Jul. 08, 2014 @ 12:35 pm

Here we go again... The same progressive ideas over and over and over again. Let's try to get these facts through that that extremely narrow tunnel vision you have:

- People who disagree with the progressive platform are NOT "paid shills". Are you so insecure in your beliefs that you can't honestly debate the merits of an issue? Or are you just so obnoxious that you think you're absolutely right on every single issue and can't understand that reasonable people disagree with you?
- People can disagree on issues about blacks, Asians (Although most of the people criticizing Asians are progressives. If you doubt that, take a look what the "Christian Landowner" idiot writes. He exemplifies how racist progressives are against Asians), Latinos, gays, women, or homeless people without being racist, homophobic, misogynistic, or classist.
- Ed Lee, Scott Weiner, Gavin Newsom, David Chiu, etc. are NOT conservative. If you got out of your little bubble of San Francisco and small circle of similar-minded friends, you would realize that these pols would be considered leftist in 90% of the US and straight communist in 45%.
- If you truly represented "San Francisco values" and the majority of San Franciscans, you'd have elected more than one mayor (and he was only one term) in the past 35 years. You'd also have had a majority on the BoS more than once in the last 30 (and that lasted only a few years). You'd also realize that as soon as your people got elected, the voters promptly turned around and said: "Whoops, bad idea. Let's go back to more moderate candidates."

Posted by Guest on Jul. 08, 2014 @ 2:18 pm

I forgot two more:

- Wanting to secure the border and not provide freebies for illegal aliens does not make someone against immigration. It makes them against ILLEGAL immigration.
- Disagreeing with progressive politics does not automatically make someone white. Thinking that minorities can't disagree with progressive policies is just sheer arrogance.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 08, 2014 @ 4:03 pm

the case in order to learn about the previous millions that Grant's extended family have already gotten.

To truly consider justice that has to be a factor. The idea being that people should not profit from criminal behavior, and nobody is doubting that Grant was engaged in criminal behavior at the time and had a long rap sheet.

It's a form of jury nullification where the jury says "enough is enough" and that it is time for everyone to move on.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 03, 2014 @ 3:20 pm

The most "heart wrenching" part of this is that this thug's family hit the ghetto lottery at the cost of taxpayers. Probably would have been dead or locked up by now anyway, like most of his family and friends.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 03, 2014 @ 8:53 pm

Nice manner of speaking. I'd bet an employer or three would be upset to read those sentiments. ANy employer would.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 03, 2014 @ 9:18 pm

Especially one in the legal field. Not very p(y)rofessional.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 03, 2014 @ 9:35 pm

no matter your complaining and weird theories.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 04, 2014 @ 1:45 pm

I wonder what ANy employer would do if AN employee were to use that kind of language at work?

Posted by Guest on Jul. 03, 2014 @ 9:23 pm

Even if he is, chances are he didn't write that from work.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 04, 2014 @ 4:59 am

Chances are that you did write these things at work. I think it's time to phone the senior partners at your firm, they really should know how truly obsessed and addicted you have become to the internet and how badly in need of therapy you are. You've done this for years at all hours of the day while working for three different employers.

Sambhāvanā hai ki āpa kāma para ina bātōṁ kō likhā thā ki kara rahē haiṁ. Maiṁ isē apanē pharma mēṁ variṣṭha sājhēdāra phōna karanē kē li'ē samaya hai, vē vāstava mēṁ āpa kara rahē haiṁ iṇṭaranēṭa aura kitanī burī taraha sē cikitsā kī jarūrata bana ga'ē haiṁ vāstava mēṁ kaisē pāgala aura naśē mēṁ ḍūba patā hōnā cāhi'ē. Āpa tīna alaga niyōktā'ōṁ kē li'ē kāma karatē hu'ē dina kē hara ghaṇṭē mēṁ isa sāla kē li'ē kiyā hai.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 08, 2014 @ 11:00 pm

If Jr was took along to see his useless dad in jail as a kid, that doesn't mean he has a relationship with him. What do the logs say about the last two or three years of his life?

Perhaps the jury saw through the parasitic lawyers money grab.

The dad and the lawyer are pieces of crap, the jury should get an award for using some common sense.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 04, 2014 @ 12:14 pm

What sort of country is this when a convicted murderer can't get a big payday in a civil suit?

Posted by Guest on Jul. 05, 2014 @ 7:16 am

the victim that he murdered?

Probably not, because he was probably judgment-proof at the time. But had he won this award, the jury should have instructed that it be paid directly to the family of the person whom Grant murdered, who is the only true innocent here.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 05, 2014 @ 7:28 am

The movie demonstrated how you can have a family and peer group that steers one down the - wrong path.
Too bad it was inaccurate. For example, how many of you have been accosted by the cops, and had to be tazed because of your attitude... how about your friends... they have been all tazed too - right??
Well, that was left out of the movie; you see, this was (going to be) the second time Oscar 3rd earned a tazing. Hmmm.
So now ask your friends, how many of them make it a habit to get tazzed?
Moral of the story: avoid intimidating a guy with a tazer, AND a gun.

Posted by Guest Film 101 on Jul. 10, 2014 @ 11:46 pm

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