Street near Fruitvale BART named for Oscar Grant

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BART directors have approved a resolution to name a small street next to the Fruitvale BART Station after Oscar Grant, the young man killed by a transit police officer more than 10 years ago.

The directors unanimously passed the resolution February 14, based on a request from Grant’s family. The street, now called Oscar Grant Way, was previously unnamed.

Relatives and community members have been pushing for the entire Fruitvale Station to be named in honor of Grant, and that continues to be their goal.

“We’re going to take one step at a time,” said Wanda Johnson, Grant’s mother. “We just have to continue to press, continue to chip away. You’re going to reach your destination in due season,” she said, adding that she was grateful for the BART board’s vote.

On Jan. 1, 2009, Grant, who was returning with friends from San Francisco, was pulled off a BART train by officers. Held face-down on the station platform, he was shot in the back by Officer Johannes Mehserle, who was convicted of involuntary manslaughter.

Family members are hoping the road sign will be put up by March 23, when it will be unveiled next to the station.

Last month, the Oakland City Council passed a resolution urging BART directors to name the street for Grant. The city resolution was sponsored by Council President Rebecca Kaplan and former Councilwoman Desley Brooks as her last official act before she left the council.

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