BART reached an agreement with the mother of Oscar Grant's young daughter Tatiana late this afternoon. The settlement is for $1.5 million and stems from the $50 million lawsuit filed against the agency following the officer-involved shooting that took place on the Fruitvale BART Station platform early New Year's Day 2009.
"It's been a little over a year since we experienced the tragic death of Oscar Grant," BART Board President James Fang said. "No matter what anyone's opinion of the case may be, the sad fact remains this incident has left Tatiana without a father. The $1.5 million settlement will provide financial support for her.
"A federal judge oversaw the settlement proceedings and the structure of the settlement will still need to be approved by the court. While these proceedings have been taking place, we on the BART Board have been taking the actions needed to improve the BART Police Department to ensure our officers are better-trained and better-equipped to keep our customers safe."
"This settlement is critical in our efforts to move forward," BART Board Member Carole Ward Allen said.
Ward Allen chairs the BART Police Department Review Committee, which is guiding the implementation of the changes within the police department.
"We're working hard to make the Police Department the best it can be for our officers, our customers and our community."
Since the shooting, BART has made a number of significant changes including:
• Working with the State Legislature to pass a bill (AB1586) on citizen oversight of the BART Police Department implemented – Monday, Jan. 25, the State Assembly passed AB1586 (67-0), it now heads to the State Senate.
• More than tripling the number of training hours provided all officers, including increased training in crowd control, defensive tactics and Taser use.
• Involving the public in BART's search for a new police chief.
• Increasing police visibility in stations and on trains.
• Requiring officers to report all use-of-force incidents, not just those deemed "significant," with each incident thoroughly reviewed by a newly established panel that determines the next appropriate steps of action.