originally by: Leader Telegram
published: 9 February 2014
In the early morning hours of Jan. 1, 2009, Oakland police pulled four black men off a train car for fighting. During the melee, a transit officer pulled out his gun and shot 22-year-old Oscar Grant in the back as Grant was lying face down on the ground, with his hands restrained behind his back.
Grant did not have a weapon. He died later that day at a hospital. The officer later claimed he thought he had pulled out his stun gun to use on Grant; he wound up serving 11 months in jail for involuntary manslaughter.
The story didn’t make much of a news splash here in the Midwest, but it was a huge event in California, as many people on the train recorded the actual shooting on their cell phones, which indicated that Grant was cooperating with authorities. People were rightfully angry when the shooting occurred, and were even more upset when the officer was not convicted of the more severe charges of second-degree murder or manslaughter, which would have led to longer prison sentences.