Timeline of BART shooting incident 


Jan. 1: At 2 a.m., BART halts a train at Fruitvale Station to allow police to deal with reports of a fight onboard. At 2:15 a.m., while a group of men allegedly involved in the melee is detained by five BART police officers, 27-year-old officer Johannes Mehserle draws his gun and fires one shot at 22-year-old Oscar Grant, who is lying face down and being restrained. Grant is killed. BART and the Alameda County District Attorney announce they will investigate the shooting.

Jan. 2: Grant’s family announces it has hired Oakland civil-rights attorney John Burris, who gave media interviews on the day of the shooting.

Jan. 4: Burris announces at a news conference that he will file a $25 million claim against BART on behalf of Grant’s family, and he calls on the Alameda County District Attorney to file manslaughter or second-degree murder charges against Mehserle. Videos of the shooting taken by BART passengers begin to emerge, showing Grant lying on his stomach when he is shot.

Jan. 6: Burris files the claim against BART. Several videos of the shooting begin spreading on the Internet. BART agrees to postpone a planned post-shooting interview with Mehserle for one day; Mehserle had asked for a weeklong postponement. BART announces that Mehserle, who became a father shortly after the shooting, is receiving death threats and is under police protection.

Jan. 7: Mehserle resigns, avoiding questions from BART officials. About 1,000 people attend Grant’s funeral in Hayward, where he is remembered for his service to his church. A peaceful protest against the shooting is held in the afternoon at Fruitvale station. That evening, a gathering erupts in violence as hundreds of demonstrators face off against police in downtown Oakland. Rioters destroy stores and light fires; more than 120 are arrested.

Jan. 8: BART and the Alameda County District Attorney announce they will fast-track their investigations, and the Oakland Police Department announces it is launching a separate probe into the shooting. Grant’s family calls for calm after the Oakland riots. BART spokesman Linton Johnson breaks down in tears after receiving a death threat on his BlackBerry during a press conference. State and city lawmakers propose a law requiring additional civilian oversight of BART police.

Jan. 10: At a meeting with the NAACP, State Attorney General Jerry Brown announces that he will dispatch a state prosecutor to monitor Alameda County’s investigation into the slaying.

Jan. 12: BART officials announce their investigation is complete and forward their findings to the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office. BART director Lynette Sweet calls for the resignations of BART police Chief Gary Gee and agency General Manager Dorothy Dugger.

Jan. 13: Mehserle is taken into custody in Nevada on a murder warrant.

Jan. 14: Mehserle waives an extradition hearing in Nevada, and is returned to Alameda County and booked into Santa Rita Jail in Oakland. About 2,000 protesters rally in downtown Oakland.

Jan. 15: Mehserle pleads not guilty to murder charges in Alameda County Superior Court.

Jan. 23: KTVU airs footage of amateur video showing a second officer, identified as Tony Pirone, punching Grant prior to the shooting.

Jan. 24: BART officials announce the will conduct a “rigorous” internal affairs investigation into the incidents depicted in the video.

Jan. 28: BART officials vote to turn their investigation over to an outside party.

Jan. 30: Mehserle appears in Alameda County Superior Court for a bail hearing.

Feb. 6: Mehserle released from jail on $3 million bail.

March 3: Burris files $50 million wrongful-death lawsuit against BART for the death of Grant.

June 4: Judge says evidence is sufficient for Mehserle to stand trial on murder charge.

June 19: Mehserle pleads not guilty to charge of first-degree murder.

Aug. 18: Outside report finds “communication failures were prominent” when BART officers responded to Fruitvale station Jan. 1. Shortly thereafter, BART police Chief Gary Gee goes on medical leave and then announces he will resign effective Dec. 30.

Aug. 24: BART board members ask the state Legislature to create a citizen oversight body for the transit agency’s police force.

Aug. 28: Grant’s father, serving a life prison term for a 1985 murder in Oakland, files a wrongful-death lawsuit against BART.

Oct. 13: Five friends of Grant who were with him Jan. 1 file a civil-rights lawsuit against BART, alleging they were illegally arrested and officers used excessive force.

Oct. 16: Defense motion for change of venue granted. Judge cites extensive media coverage and high tensions in Bay Area.

Nov. 19: Los Angeles is picked as trial venue.

Dec. 1: Judge Robert Perry is assigned to the case.


Jan. 8: Case shifts to Los Angeles County Superior Court.

Jan. 27: BART says it has reached a $1.5 million settlement for Grant’s daughter.

June 8: Jury, made up of eight women and four men, is chosen. No blacks are on panel; seven whites, four Hispanics and one Asian are selected.

June 9: Opening statements in trial are made.

June 25: Mehserle takes the stand and makes his first public comments about the incident: “[The sound] wasn’t like a gunshot. I remember wondering what went wrong with the Taser. I thought it malfunctioned.”

June 30: Judge rules that jury can consider second-degree murder, manslaughter and involuntary manslaughter, saying not enough evidence was presented to support first-degree murder.

July 1: Closing statements in trial are made.

July 2: Jury begins deliberations.

July 8: Jury convicts Mehserle of involuntary manslaughter.

Pin It

More by Julia B. Chan

Latest in Transportation

© 2019 The San Francisco Examiner

Website powered by Foundation