Court to Rule on Police Challenge to Oscar Grant Lawsuit

John Burris

Dan Siegel

Walter Riley

By Post Staff

Oakland attorneys John Burris and Dan Siegel will be arguing the Oscar Grant civil rights case before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco at 9 a.m. on Monday, Dec. 3.
The police offices who were sued for civil rights violations have appealed federal Judge Marilyn Patel’s ruling that the officer are not immune from liability.
After this appeal is decided the case will be scheduled for trial next year, according to Siegel.
Patel ruled in May 20111 that BART cannot be held legally responsible for the 2009 shooting death of Oscar Grant III at Oakland’s Fruitvale Station.
But she ruled that most of the issues in a $50 million federal lawsuit on behalf of Grant’s family against current and former BART police officers should be decided at a jury trial.
The lawsuit names former BART officer Johannes Mehserle, fellow officer  Tony Pirone, as well as former BART Police Chief Gary Gee and officers Marysol Domenici, Jon Woffinden and Emery Knudtso. “The police officers are trying to exempt themselves from responsibility for their conduct,” said Oakland civil rights Attorney Walter Riley.  “They are asking to be above the law.”