April 23, 2014

An Intimate look at Oscar Grant


By now everyone has seen the horrific videos of an Oakland BART police officer shooting an unarmed Black man, Oscar Grant, while he lay face down on the ground and was fully cooperating. The man who was killed execution style was the father of a 4-year-old girl, a son, uncle, brother, nephew, cousin, friend, and was considered a peacemaker. In fact moments before he was shot he was pleading with his friends who were all cuffed up to calm down and be cooperative with the police. Grant was seen begging the police officers, who had pulled tasers out and pointed them at the heads of his friends, not to shoot.

Police officer Johannes Mehserle pushed Grant to the ground. One officer kneeled on his neck while the other officer pulled out a gun and shot him point blank in the back. The bullet went through his back, hit the ground and bounced back up and pierced his lung, killing him.

Oscar Juliuss Grant III was born on February 27, 1986 in Oakland California. He was the youngest of two sibling. His mother, Wanda Johnson, only son.

Family Tribute to Oscar Grant part 1

Family Tribute to Oscar Grant part 2

Oscar Grant Pictures

I am Oscar Grant
(Reflections from the Johnson Family)

Cephus Johnson, affectionately known as Uncle Bobby, Oscar Grant uncle

“My letter to you, Nephew”
You were a beautiful, happy baby nephew. The moment I saw your smile it brought much joy to my spirit. It was like you knew you had work to do and it would be your smile that you would do it with. Your smile would light up a room. Your smile would bring joy to a bad day. It was a toothy smile. That smile that you came into the world with was the same spirited smile that you left me with. It was as though you know, before you caught that Bart train that night that it would be your last day of life to smile for your uncle. It was as though you were saying, “uncle , I love yo, and must go now”. It was that same spirited smile, that transported itself to my spirit self, where it prompted my spirit to text you at 12:49 am, one hour and twenty minutes before you were murdered, texting “uncle Loves You, God You, God loves you, God love your family”. Your beautiful spirited smile has touched everyone you have come in contact with. It’s that same spirited smile that we see in all the music, art, poetry, and spoken word that was inspired by your sacrifice. You smile will live in me for the rest of my life. You have shared with the world your gift of life, your beautiful spirit, and your beautiful smile. It will be because of your Love for Life, by your beautiful smile that will bring your tragic death to an ending with a victory for Justice. Uncle miss you. Uncle Loves you.Uncle says thank you. I will always remind the world that you were murdered and the criminal justice system will have to hold Johannes Mehserle accountable for the murder he committed. it is God’s word that I will stand on,
“Hebrews 11:6, But without faith it is impossible to please Him: for he that cometh to God must believe that He is , and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him”
May the Peace of God guide all of us, in all that we do, with the remembrance of your spirited smiling face. I Love you.

Uncle Bobby


Kenneth Johnson, Uncle of Oscar Grant:

Oscar came to stay with me one summer, and the thing that I liked the most was how respectful he was to me, my wife, and our home. There was not one thing that I ask him to do that he did not do. He always had a smile on his face and didn’t complain. We spent most evening talking and laughing, playing cards and dominos, and just enjoyed his company in our home. There was never a time when I came to visit my family that he didn’t make time to come see and my wife. One thing I will say about Oscar is he valued family. That was an important part of his life. He was the type of young man that was loved by many and was known by many as the kind of man that once you met him, you met a good guy that you would enjoy being around.


About Cephus


  1. [...] In 2009, the 22-year-old was fatally shot in the back by police officers in the early morning hours of New Year’s Day. Grant’s shooting was captured by several bystanders via cellphone. Despite the evidence against them all of the officers involved received little, if any, disciplinary action for the incident. Among those who got off easy was Grant’s shooter, Officer Johannes Mehserle. While he was initially slapped with murder charges, Mehserle was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter. In November of 2010 the former police officer was sentenced to two years behind bars with credit for time served, and was released in June of last year, after severing 11-months in county jail. Hear Oscar Grant Mother Speaks about the movie Fruitvale An Intimate Look at Oscar Grant [...]

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