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Multiple videos, some captured by passengers on San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART), have shed light on the fatal shooting of an unarmed passenger by a BART police officer. The family of the victim, Oscar Grant, has filed a $25 million claim against BART.
The incident occurred on New Year's Day. As the San Francisco Chronicle reports, the officer in question has yet to provide a statement regarding the incident. Multiple videos have surfaced, some captured by other passengers on their cell phones, shedding further light on what happened. One video shows the group of three young men, including Grant, sitting restrained by BART police after being pulled off the train. Next, it shows Grant restrained face down while a BART officer pulls out his firearm and shoots Grant in the back.
BART spokesman Jim Allison said that the officer's gun went off while officers tried to restrain Grant, who he said was not in handcuffs. As the Chronicle reports, a source familiar with the investigation indicates the possibility that the officer mistook his gun for a Taser and killed Grant in an errant attempt to tase Grant.
Oscar Grant's family has filed a $25 million wrongful death claim against BART. It alleges that excessive force was used in the young man's killing. Bart will have 45 days to accept or reject the claim. BART officials have not released the name of the officer in question, but he was identified in the family's claim as Johannes Mehserle. Mehserle is on paid leave while authorities investigate. An outraged community has staged protests outside BART's Oakland headquarters.