OAKLAND -- The mother of Oscar Grant III will receive $1.3 million from BART in a settlement agreement that ends, in part, a federal civil rights lawsuit filed against the transit agency after one of its officers killed Grant, an attorney representing Grant's mother said Tuesday.
The settlement between BART and Wanda Johnson follows a $1.5 million payment the transit agency made to Oscar Grant's 5-year-old daughter last year.
"My heart still grieves for my son," Johnson said at a news conference late Tuesday afternoon. "No amount of money will ever make me satisfied."
Grant, a Hayward resident, was killed by former BART police Officer Johannes Mehserle in what Mehserle later said was a case of confusing his gun for his Taser. The shooting occurred as an unarmed Grant was lying on his stomach while a BART police officer tried to handcuff him.
"This was the most outrageous police shooting I have ever seen," said John Burris, the civil rights attorney who represented Johnson. Burris said the verdict in the criminal case against Johannes Mehserle was "a miscarriage of justice. "... In effect, Mehserle got away with it," he said.
Mehserle was charged with murder by then-Alameda County District Attorney Tom Orloff but was found guilty last year of involuntary manslaughter by a Los Angeles jury. He was released from jail this month.
Burris filed his federal lawsuit on behalf of Grant's family and friends, arguing that the officers and BART violated several federal civil rights laws and should be held responsible.
Last month, a federal judge dismissed certain aspects of the case, including an argument that attempted to hold BART responsible for the killing. The judge said not enough evidence existed to hold BART responsible, but that the agency must still pay the settlement because it is responsible for the actions of its police officers.
Dale Allen, attorney for BART, emphasized that BART did not admit liability. "BART agreed to the settlement because it was a risk for both sides to proceed to trial," he said.
Other claims filed by Burris remained in the lawsuit, including allegations of excessive force and unlawful detention against Mehserle and former BART police Officer Anthony Pirone. The federal judge also kept the lawsuit's wrongful death claim against Mehserle.
The settlement announced Tuesday does not fully end the case. Grant's friends remain active in the case, and more settlement hearings are scheduled, beginning on Wednesday.
Allen called those claims "very, very questionable" and said, "We will return to settlement conference tomorrow to see if the entire case can be resolved."