Oscar Grant was a 22-year-old young man with an African American origin. In the early morning hours of New Year’s Day of the year 2009 a police officer from Bart by the name of Johannes Mehserle in Oakland, California, killed Oscar. The officers were responding to reports of a fight on a crowded Bay Area Rapid Transit train returning from San Francisco.
The officers from Bart detained Oscar Grant and several other passengers who were at the fight scene. Officer Anthony Pirone from the Bart division kneed Grant on the head and forced him to lie face down on the floor despite being unarmed. While Anthony held Oscar against the ground, officer Mehserle drew his pistol and shot Grant in the back. Anthony Grant was immediately rushed to Highland Hospital in Oakland, and he was pronounced dead later that day.
The video footage of the scene was captured by multiple private and official video devices and privately owned cell phone cameras. Different owners disseminated their footage to media outlets and even in various platforms where it quickly went viral. There was an emergence of both peaceful and violent protests on the following day.
On January 30, 2010, prosecutors from Alameda county charged officer Mehserle with second-degree murder in their indictment for the shooting. The officer resigned from work and pleaded not guilty. A trial against Mehserle began on July 8, 2010, and he was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter and not guilty of a murder charge as it had been stated earlier.