- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 18, 2016

The father of Oscar Grant III, a California man who was shot and killed by Bay Area Rapid Transit police in 2009, cannot seek monetary damages over the matter, an appeals court affirmed Tuesday.

Oscar Grant Jr. filed a claim in August 2009 after his 22-year-old son was fatally shot by a BART police officer while lying face-down and handcuffed at an Oakland train station. Despite being in prison for a murder conviction since 1985, Grant said the shooting had caused him a “loss of familial relationship,” and sued BART and the officers involved for monetary damages.

A federal jury rejected Grant’s claim in 2014, and that decision was affirmed Tuesday by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in an unpublished memorandum, Courthouse News reported.

“The record demonstrates that the court did not abuse its discretion,” a three-member panel of the appeals court wrote, according to the website. “Among other deficiencies, the claims of the Grant III Estate had already been duly settled for $1.3 million by Wanda Johnson, the decedent’s mother and authorized ‘personal representative,’ leaving no cause of action for this plaintiff.”

Waukeen McCoy, an attorney for Grant, told Courthouse News Tuesday that he believes his client’s murder conviction wrongfully played a part in the ruling.

“They think he’s a menace to society because he’s in prison. But this is a totally separate issue,” Mr. McCoy said. “Obviously he had a familial relationship with his son visiting him all of his life when he was in prison. It wasn’t the same relationship as someone else, but all families are different. This was a unique situation and they just disregarded that because he’s in prison.

“I obviously disagree with them,” he said of the ruling. “They just do not afford prisoners the same rights as other people.”

Johannes Mehserle, the former BART officer who fatally shot Grant’s son on New Year’s Day 2009, was convicted of involuntary manslaughter in 2010.

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