BART officials on Thursday voted overwhelmingly in favor of naming a street next to Oakland's Fruitvale Station in honor of Oscar Grant, a young black man killed by a police officer a decade ago.
All eight BART directors attending the board meeting approved the request from Grant’s family to name the side street "Oscar Grant Way.” The currently unnamed roadway, located on BART property, between 33rd and 35th streets, sits in the shadow of the station where Grant was shot.
"You can't continue to move forward until you atone," BART board Director Lateefah Simon told Grant's family members and other supporters who attended the meeting. "I believe we want to and we are going to do that. Government is absolutely responsible for the safety and security of all folk, and it's difficult, and it's complicated, but the very least we can do is name this street 'Oscar Grant Way.' "
Grant, a 22-year-old from Hayward, was unarmed when he was fatally shot in the back by a BART police officer as he lay face down on the station's platform in the early hours of New Year's Day 2009.
The shooting was caught on video from multiple angles and shared widely through social media and news outlets, fueling angry protests against police violence and racial profiling. The incident heightened demands for greater police accountability and became a precursor to the Black Lives Matter movement.