An Oakland police officer last weekend shot and injured a cousin of Oscar Grant III, who was killed by a BART cop on a train platform in a high-profile incident on New Year’s Day in 2009.
Tony Jones, 24, whose mother, Bertrina Works-Grant, is the sister of Grant’s father, suffered a bullet wound to his lower back Sunday night while running from police, his attorney, Waukeen McCoy, said Wednesday.
Police said Jones, who is reportedly on probation, was a suspect in a robbery that night and had a gun. Police said they recovered a firearm at the scene.
Jones, who was in stable condition at Oakland’s Highland Hospital on Wednesday, denies he had a gun, his attorney said. While Jones made a rash decision to run, McCoy said, he shouldn’t have been shot.
“I don’t know why they discharged the weapon when he was running away from them,” McCoy said.
The attorney said he planned to file a civil lawsuit against the city of Oakland claiming police used unreasonable force.
Police issued a brief news release about the incident Monday. The department declined to comment further Wednesday, citing multiple ongoing investigations.
Jones was in a van believed to have been involved in a robbery Sunday night, police said. While pulling the van over, police said, Jones “ran from the vehicle.” Cops gave chase, and the van fled. A cop fired at Jones after discovering he was armed, police said.
Jones said there was no reason for police to suspect him of anything and he had paid $10 to a woman to give him a ride, his attorney said.
McCoy said Jones’ relationship to Grant must make Oakland cops nervous. Grant was shot and killed by former BART police Officer Johannes Mehserle while lying facedown on the platform of the Fruitvale station. Mehserle had claimed he thought he was firing his Taser when he shot Grant.
Oakland attorney John Burris, who represents the Grant family, said Wednesday that Grant’s mother wouldn’t know who Jones was if she saw him, noting Grant wasn’t close to his father’s side of the family. Grant’s father has been serving a murder sentence since Grant was a month old.
BART paid Grant’s mother $1.3 million in a settlement deal in connection with his killing. Mehserle was convicted of involuntary manslaughter and served 11 months of a two-year sentence.