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Jury Denies Damages to Father of Oscar Grant, Rules in Favor of Ex-Transit Officer

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Oscar Grant Verdict 260 Jpg

A federal jury ruled in favor of former transit worker Johannes Mehserle who fatally shot unarmed passenger Oscar Grant III in 2009, rejecting a suit filed by Grant's father.

After less than a day of deliberation the 10-member San Francisco jury unanimously denied damages to Grant's father, Oscar Grant Jr., the Huffington Post reports.

Grant III, who is the subject of hit film Fruitvale Station, was taken off the train after a disturbance and was facedown on the platform on New Years Day 2009 when he was fatally shot in the back.

Mehserle was convicted of involuntary manslaughter by a Los Angeles jury and served about 11 months of a two-year sentence after claiming that he mistakenly used his firearm when he intended on reaching for his taser.

Grant's mother settled a damage claim against the transit system BART for $1.3 million. Another $1.5 million in settlement was paid to 22-year-old Grant's young daughter. Grant's father went to trial in his damage suit while serving an unrelated prison sentence.

Johnson and Grant's father both testified that the elder Grant tried to maintain a relationship with his son while incarcerated, with visits and phone calls, and that they had a strong bond.

But the jury found that the father had failed to show he had a close familial relationship with his son, when he didn't know details such as the name of his son's school, where he worked and if he played any sports.

The jurors also concluded that Grant's father had failed to prove the officer intentionally harmed his son—either by shooting him or by intending to stun him.

Waukeen McCoy, a lawyer for Grant's father, told reporters there was plenty of evidence that he had been close to his son and that Mehserle had intended to shoot Grant without justification. He said he was considering an appeal.

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