Oscar Grant family and BART issue joint statement on New Year's tragedy
Grant family calls for peace, love and forgiveness
As the year anniversary of the tragic officer-involved shooting at Fruitvale Station of BART passenger Oscar Grant draws near, the Grant family and the BART Board of Directors are joining together to thank the public for their continued support for the reforms taking place in the BART Police Department.
Additionally, Oscar Grant’s mother, Wanda Johnson, wants to emphasize that people should honor her son’s memory on January 1 through "a day of celebration not demonstration." She added, "It is our hope that this day be a peaceful day to remember Oscar and the others who have been lost to violence."
"We want the public to know we are a family of peace, love and forgiveness," Oscar’s uncle Cephus Johnson said. "In the year since my nephew was killed, I truly believe positive changes have occurred in the BART Police Department and many more will come. We want to thank the public for their continued involvement in making the BART Police the best it can be as we enter 2010."
"On behalf of the BART Board of Directors, we want to again express our deepest and sincerest regret and our heartfelt condolences over the loss of Oscar Grant," BART Director Carole Ward Allen said. Ward Allen chairs the BART Police Department Review Committee, which is guiding the implementation of the changes within the police department. "We look forward to making more positive changes in 2010, including the hiring of a new police chief and working with the State Legislature to quickly amend the law so BART can implement independent citizen oversight of the BART Police Department."
"This has been one of the most gut-wrenching episodes in BART's history," BART Board President James Fang said. "But through community involvement, non-biased professional assistance from the outside of BART and of course the extremely strong effort by our Board, particularly the efforts of Carole Ward Allen, we have learned from this tragic incident. Our prayers and deepest sympathies go to the Grant family on this inauspicious one-year anniversary of Oscar Grant's death."
"We want to thank the Grant family and the public for their support, which has been critical to making the reforms underway in the Police Department and we look forward to their continued support in the new year," Director Ward Allen said.