OAKLAND (KRON) — It’s been 10 years since 22-year-old of Oscar Grant was killed at the Fruitvale BART station in Oakland.
On Saturday, a mural was unveiled in his honor.
BART says it worked closely with Grant’s family to create the tribute and provide a place for reflection for all those who travel through the station.
“I believe there will be a sense of peace in this place, a sense of healing in this place, a sense of love in this place,” said Wanda Johnson, Grant’s mother.
At Saturday’s tribute, Johnson looked over the mural of her son, painted in the very place his life was taken.
“I’m grateful that through Oscar’s death, he still lives on,” she said. “Every time someone comes to this station, they’ll see his name and they’ll see his face.”
Ten years have passed since a BART police officer shot and killed the 22-year-old. Johnson said working with BART to create the mural and name the street across the platform for her son is a sign of growth.
“Even with BART, it has caused the board members to see the injustice that was done and to want to rectify and this is just one of the ways they’re doing that and I’m grateful,” Johnson said.
Lateefah Simon is the BART director for District 7. She said Grant’s face framed in gold in front of the East Bay skyline symbolizes the entire community’s process of healing.
“It’s about this young man, but it’s also about our understanding of the wrongs we committed and honoring a movement of peace, dignity collaboration and healing,” she said.
“One of our employees killed an unarmed man and left a little girl fatherless,” Simon said. “So there’s a lot to atone for and heal and this mural is the beginning of us continuing to be in line step with our community.”
The mural is the first to come from BART’s Art in Transit program. Well-known Oakland artist Refa One hopes his work speaks volumes.
“I hope it brings a better sense of awareness to the struggle against police terrorism,” One said. “And I hope it transforms the visual landscape here in a way that it brings beauty harmony and respect to the humanity of Oscar Grant.”
Johnson says they’re still working get Fruitvale station itself named for him.
BART said since Grant’s murder, the community has pushed them to develop an independent auditor’s office, and they’ve hired more directors of color.
Grant’s family has since created a foundation in his name, giving out more than $45,000 in scholarships to East Bay high schoolers.
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