BART, friends of Oscar Grant reach settlement 

OAKLAND -- Five friends of Oscar Grant III, the man who was fatally shot by a BART police officer in 2009, have reached a deal to settle a federal lawsuit against the agency, officials said.

Jack Bryson Jr., Nigel Bryson, Michael Greer, Carlos Reyes and Fernando Anicete Jr. will split $175,000 as part of the settlement reached late last month, their attorney John Burris said Tuesday.

The BART board of directors approved the settlement May 8, BART spokeswoman Alicia Trost said Wednesday.

The men filed a federal civil-rights lawsuit for $1.5 million in 2009 claiming excessive force and illegal detainment. Burris said Tuesday that the men are relieved the case is over.

"This closes a very traumatic and tragic chapter for these young men," he said. "Unfortunately, they will never get over witnessing their friend's death."

Trost said the settlement closes the case for a "considerably smaller amount compared to what would have been a long and costly trial if allowed to move forward."

The five men were detained on BART's Fruitvale station platform in Oakland along with Grant, who was shot and killed on New Year's Day 2009 by then-BART police Officer Johannes Mehserle. He was later convicted of involuntary manslaughter.

Grant's mother, Wanda Johnson, and Grant's young daughter, Tatiana, received financial settlements from BART totaling $2.8 million as a result of the shooting.

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