Renowned civil rights lawyer John Burris has been hired by the family of late Oscar Grant III to become involved in their son’s murder by a California police officer.
Burris has a track record of winning both police and racial-based cases.
Burris, 63, helped win a $3.8 million jury verdict for Rodney King over a videotaped beating in 1991 at the hands of Los Angeles police. He defended basketball star Latrell Sprewell against reckless driving charges in 1998. And he obtained a $42,000 settlement for the late rapper Tupac Shakur in a 1991 brutality suit against the Oakland police. (Associated Press)
The case stems from a fatal shooting of Grant late last month.
Grant died early New Year’s Day when now-former BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) police Officer Johannes Mehserle, responding with four other officers to reports of a fight on a train, shot and killed Grant as the Hayward resident lay face down and restrained by another officer. BART police investigated the incident for just under two weeks and turned their findings over to Alameda County District Attorney Tom Orloff‘s office. Orloff charged Mehserle with second-degree murder. Civil rights attorney John Burris is representing Grant’s family in a $25 million suit against BART. (Mercury News)
Various Bay Area artists have stepped forward with tribute songs and demonstrations to lend their support for Grant.
“What’s up everybody, this is Amplive and I’m here today to give my respect and my prayers out to Oscar Grant and his family,” Amp said in a video. “Oscar Grant was basically executed by an Oakland police officer who worked for the Bay Area Rapid Transit.” (YouTube)
Both Amplive and Mistah Fab have made Grant tribute videos.