UPDATE 2/14: The BART Board of Directors unanimously approved renaming a road under Fruitvale BART Station “Oscar Grant Way.”
The father, and son, who was killed by BART Police ten years ago was honored by his mother and friends at a BART Board of Directors meeting Thursday morning. The BART board said they hoped the road renaming would honor Grant’s memory.
“I’m sorry. You can’t change a system unless you atone,” said Lateefah Simon, a BART board director who represents San Francisco, among other counties.
BART Board of Directors President Bevan Dufty, who spearheaded the effort with BART director Robert Raburn, said “this isn’t the end, I just hope it is a new beginning.”
The original story follows below.
San Francisco is officially on record backing an effort to rename a short road under Fruitvale Station “Oscar Grant Way,” after the man shot and killed by a BART police officer there ten years ago.
That show of support from The City comes just days before a planned February 14 vote by the BART Board of Directors on a proposal to rename the road on the west side of Fruitvale Station between 33rd Avenue and 35th Avenue.
A mural is also expected to debut March 23, when the board plans to dedicate the road.
Supervisor Shamann Walton and Hillary Ronen co-sponsored the resolution of support, which unanimously passed the Board of Supervisors Tuesday.
“The murder of Oscar Grant sparked a worldwide movement that demanded justice for his murder and an end to the murders of African American and Latino young men from police brutality,” Walton and Ronen’s resolution reads.
The renaming has been championed by BART Director Robert Raburn, who represents the district Fruitvale Station is in, said BART Board of Directors President Bevan Dufty.
All BART directors who represent San Francisco voiced support of the measure, including Dufty, Janice Li, and Lateefah Simon.
“To support the naming of this street in memory of Oscar Grant is to be in solidarity with our Oakland brothers and sisters, and my vote is an act of solidarity,” Li said. Grant’s legacy is one of “infusion of anger and activism in the fight for racial justice.”
Dufty said “It’s been long overdue,” and praised Raburn for working very closely with Grant’s family, including his mother, Wanda Johnson.
Simon told the San Francisco Examiner, “What came out of [Grant’s] death was a renewed understanding of abuse by law enforcement across the country. His death and his mother’s perseverance sparked a movement.”