Friday, January 9, 2009

Johannes Mehserle's Slaying Of Oscar Grant Spawns Violence In Oakland Despite Wanda Johnson's Call For Peaceful Protest of Her Son's Death

No Justice? No Peace? Not according to Wanda Johnson! Oscar Grant, a 22-year-old father was placed face down on New Years Day in the train station by the police. It appears he started to struggle. A police officer kneeled on Oscar's back. Another officer, Johannes Mehserle, stands, unholsters his gun and fatally shoots Oscar Grant in the back. Did officer Mehserle mistake his gun for a taser? Or did officer Mehserle intend to draw his weapon?

The BART board of directors meeting was the host to several score of angry speeches by elected officials, activists and outraged citizens. The BART directors were asked to set up a committee to review procedures and the possibility of a civilian review board.
Was this just blatant police brutality? According to Grant's mother, Wanda Johnson, she thinks it was. Yet, she has asked the public to stop the rioting according to CNN affiliate KTVU-TV. "I am begging the citizens not to use violent tactics, not to be angry... You're hurting people who have nothing to do with the situation. You're vandalizing their property, hurting their cars and breaking their windows. Please just stop it, please," plead Johnson at her news conference.
The officer has since resigned. Spokesman: Officer in subway shooting resigns
Video of police shooting spurs questions

John Burris, attorney for the Grant family, noted the case of Sean Bell, and asked that the community not creating more violence. Burris claims that Oscar Grant was "trying to be a peace maker on the tape."

Yet there has still been violence. The Oakland Police Department made 105 arrests on charges stemming from inciting a riot, vandalism, assault on a police officer and unlawful assembly.
Watch angry protesters. Videos show Mehserle shoot Grant in the back as another BART officer kneels on Grant. Watch the events preceding the shooting

Oakland police tried to control the protests but demonstrators smashed car windshields and storefront windows. "We live a life of fear, and we want them to be afraid tonight," a female demonstrator exclaims according to BART protests.

Attorney Christopher Miller released a statement confirming his client's resignation, effective Wednesday. He has apparently advised his client not to speak. BART manages regional transportation in Oakland. They have spoken out against the violence and will look into changing procedures.

District Attorney Tom Orloff informed CNN that this is a "pretty clear" homicide. If so, Mehserle's mental state at the time of the shooting will be critical to both the prosecution and the defense. The Grant family attorney, Burris, in the mean time has filed a $25 million civil claim against BART for wrongful death. Read the claim (PDF)

BART Police Chief Gary Gee released a statement expressing condolences for Grant's family.

Keep in mind, all suspects, including Johannes Mehserle, are innocent until proven guilty. In the mean time, heed the words of Oscar's mother and let your demonstrations be lawful.


U.T. said...

This has been an awful mistake or a murder. I really don't know. Maybe he thought he was drawing his taser? No one would think this would not have been caught on film in this day and age of cell phone cameras and surveillance videos.

Anonymous said...

Violence is never the answer!

Ms Calabaza said...

This rioting is not helping anyone.

justice seeker said...

Rioting creates fear! Folks need to experience the fear that the oppressed feel every day in order to understand their plight.

Justice Seeker

rommie said...

Da man was wrong. Ignorant people who support the man need to be taught a lesson. Treat us fair or we ain't gonna take this sh*t!


Anonymous said...

Dis dude ought to fry!

jester said...

A relatives death can create a lot of depression and hard feelings. Quite simply it is no laughing matter. I am a twin, the day I lost my mother was the saddest day of my life.

I decided to work that day and I told my boss that my mother had died. I went about trying to work until I got the worse news yet. The phone rang. It was my brother. He told me that his mother died that day too.


Anonymous said...

Jester, you are wrong to have posted that on so many levels. This thread is about JUSTICE. And let me tell you, in this country justice is blind!


Chris R. said...

Well Bill, let's talk about the blind.

I saw a blind man walking down the street with his dog. He stopped at the corner to wait for the passing traffic. The dog started pissing on the man’s leg. As the dog finished, the man reached into his coat pocket and pulled out a doggie treat. He waived the treat around near the dog. I saw it all very clearly. I approached the man and I asked how he could possibly reward the dog for such a nasty deed.

The blind man said "Oh I'm not rewarding him, I'm just trying to find his head so I can kick his ass."

So too is Justice Blind

Chris R.

Anonymous said...

i cant believe at the bottom of this thing is says innocent until proven guilty
there evidence so i dont even undertsnad this
america is fucked up

Anonymous said...

i cant believe at the bottom of this thing is says innocent until proven guilty
there evidence so i dont even undertsnad this
america is fucked up

Anonymous said...

In U.S.A., you are always presumed innocent until found guilty in court.

Now, we do believe the defendant's day will come and then justice will reign down upon him.

Anonymous said...

No Peace, no justice. But we will still have a Justice of the Peace.

Anonymous said...

This cop should be given a medal, non of this would have happened if the kid was not fighting, sounds like the people of oakland should use better judgement before they start crap...

Anonymous said...

anon, you are crazy. he murdered this kid

Anonymous said...

Fightin don't deserve killin.

Anonymous said...

Murder is murder. It don't matter what color one's skin is, it is still murder.

Anonymous said...

nothin to do with race... just brutality.