The Killing of Oscar Grant.

*trigger warning*

On New Year’s Day, 22-year-old Oscar Grant was shot in the back by Bay Area Rapid Transit Police. He was unarmed and apparently restrained and handcuffed at the time of the shooting.

UPDATE: A clearer video, via Feministe.



Gene "G.D." Demby is the founder and editor of PostBourgie. In his day job, he blogs and reports on race and ethnicity for NPR's Code Switch team.
  • I’m so glad this was caught on film.

  • In a post about a civilian crime-prevention initiative in Philadelphia a year ago, I made the point that the plan was informed in part by a well-earned distrust of the police. It was an assertion that didn’t go over well.

    These tragedies are so commonplace that we already know how they will play out: community outrage; a long, deliberate investigation; and an acquittal.

  • ladyfresshh

    The acquitals are always disturbing as hell

  • scott

    I saw one local TV news report that the officer involved had previously drawn his taser during the incident and may have later accidentally drawn his service weapon. Right now there is so much speculation, it will be interesting to see what an investigation of the shooting concludes.

  • These tragedies are so commonplace that we already know how they will play out: community outrage; a long, deliberate investigation; and an acquittal.

    That’s why I’m glad it was caught on film. While disturbing to watch, it isn’t all that shocking to me. Having a record on film may make a difference. Though, my hopes aren’t particularly high.

    Scott- even if he had his Taser out, there was no reason to use it. Grant was totally subdued. And anyway, Tasers kill, too:

  • And considering the “he thought it was a Taser” argument will come up repeatedly, I’m sure, here’s more info on Tasers:—-news/

  • scott


    I wasn’t going to say this before but there is also some question about whether Grant was already handcuffed at the time or was in the process of being handcuffed at the time of the shooting. Sorry, I would post a link to the San Fran Chronicle article but don’t know how.

    Yes, I know Tasers can kill but guns kill much more often.

  • ladyfresshh

    @ scott – i heard the same speculation and frankly i don’t care

    the problem i have with these incidents is that these are peoples lives. in a company when you cause the company to lose money or make a major mistake, you are fired. this occupation deals with folks lives. these type of mishaps seem to be slipping under the table without any sort of serious recognition that maybe that person just is not suited for this job.

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  • GVG

    I almost threw up

  • This is so disturbing. I don’t even know what to say. Plus we all know how this bullshit it gonna play out, footage or no.

    Scott: Even if he wasn’t handcuffed he was outnumbered and pinned, even a taser probably wasn’t necessary.

  • Rush

    My heart goes out to his friends and family.

  • Aisha

    I don’t even know what to say. I’m a former Oakland resident and I know Bay Area folks will protest. But I think we all can write letters/email to the Oakland Mayor and Barbara Lee. We all know how this is going to play out but I still think people should use their voices for direct actions and not just commentary.

  • scott: you’re really riding for the cops in this instance? that’s amazing.

    handcuffed or no, there was nothing on those videos that indicated that unholstering and discharging his firearm was necessary. he was outnumbered by police officers.

  • scott

    I’m not with anyone on this until I have some idea of the facts. This case seems to have already been tried in the media with people calling the shooting intentional, an execution, or a lynching. I’m certainly not saying that the officer shouldn’t be punished, on the contrary, his punishment should be equal to his culpability. Right now it is hard to tell what his culpability is when the facts have not even been determined.

  • quadmoniker

    Scott, I’m with you on getting the facts. I hate when people jump to conclusions when it comes to police officers. Fortunately for us, though, the video in this instance is an unblemished retelling of what actually happened. I understand well the justifications an officer needs to use deadly force and the protocol for using it. None of those things are in the video, to a really shocking degree. The man was restrained by handcuffs and another officer. He could not have reached for a weapon if he had one. Whatever the officer says in his own defense, it’s going to be ridiculously hard to reconcile with what we already know and can see for our own eyes. No, I’m pretty sure this officer is going to resign, and also that there will be a criminal trial.

  • He resigned immediately and has *still* not been questioned by any officials, as far as I know.

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