I am car-less this week and so I summoned an Uber driver to get me to San Ramon for a meeting this morning, and then another to get me to the eastern end-point of BART’s blue line in Dublin. (Yes, there is a Dublin in California).
On the way back one of my train’s stops was Fruitvale station, the scene of tragic events on New Year’s Day in 2009 when 22-yr old Oscar Grant was fatally shot in the back while pinned down on the ground, by a BART policeman. (There is a shocking YouTube cell phone video on-line that actually shows what happened; a movie about the events was made in 2013). The officer testified at his 2010 trial that he intended to draw and fire his Taser rather than his gun.
He was sentenced to two years in prison after his involuntary manslaughter conviction – but was released after serving only 11 months.
This was 2009 .. and here we are in 2016, now looking back at a trail of numerous similar incidents. Young black men interacting with police, with similar tragic outcomes. Is it due to racism? or due to the way the police operates? or due to ‘bad’ individual police officers? asks this article from website fivethirtyeight.