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‘Jail Mehserle, the killer cop!’

May 21, 2009

by Dave Id

On Monday, as the preliminary hearing to determine whether Johannes Mehserle will stand trial for the murder of Oscar Grant, a diverse crowd rallied outside the courthouse most of the day, united with the chant, "We are all Oscar Grant!" as police surrounded them and circled in a helicopter overhead. BART cop Tony Pirone, reportedly on steroids, aided, abetted and encouraged Mehserle and himself delivered some vicious blows leading up to the murder of Oscar Grant. He too must be held accountable. - Photo: Dave Id, Indybay
On Monday, as the preliminary hearing to determine whether Johannes Mehserle will stand trial for the murder of Oscar Grant got underway, a diverse crowd rallied outside the courthouse most of the day, united with the chant, "We are all Oscar Grant!" as police surrounded them and circled in a helicopter overhead. BART cop Tony Pirone, reportedly on steroids, aided, abetted and encouraged Mehserle and himself delivered some vicious blows leading up to the murder of Oscar Grant. He too must be held accountable. - Photo: Dave Id, Indybay
Chanting “Jail Mehserle, the killer cop,” supporters of justice for Oscar Grant are gathering every morning this week at 8 a.m. outside the Alameda County Courthouse by Lake Merritt in Oakland – 1225 Fallon, at 12th Street and Oak – while the preliminary hearing inside deals with Johannes Mehserle’s defense attorney Michael Rains attempting to reduce charges from murder, to move the venue to a less diverse county, or to otherwise stifle Mehserle being held to account for murdering Oscar Grant as he lay face down on a BART platform at 2 a.m. New Year’s – a police execution caught on video and seen by millions around the world.

About 1:30 p.m. every day, family members and others are holding press conferences on the steps of the courthouse to announce what has happened in the courtroom each day. As the hearing continues, Oscar Grant’s family is asking anyone who can spare 10 minutes or an hour to come down and show support at the morning demos and the afternoon press conferences.

Speaking in the video here on the first day of the preliminary hearing are community members, activists and family. Oscar Grant’s uncle, Cefus Johnson, speaks to the crowd at the conclusion of the day’s hearing on the steps of the courthouse – the “Black Panther steps” of the same courthouse where a famous photo of the Black Panthers was taken, as several speakers pointed out.

Also speaking throughout the day are members of the New Year’s Movement for Justice, By Any Means Necessary, No Justice No BART, Copwatch, the Revolution Club, the Nation of Islam, OneFam and more.

Dave Id is a Bay Area photojournalist who posts his work to www.IndyBay.org. He has written about, photographed and recorded in audio and video nearly every event – meeting, rally, protest and rebellion – and cultural expression, such as graffiti, related to police terrorism since the New Year’s Day murder of Oscar Grant, creating a complete archive for immediate use and for posterity. And he makes it all available to the public without charge – a priceless contribution to the movement.

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Also see:

Morning Demonstrations at Johannes Mehserle Preliminary Hearing, Oakland, 5/18/09: photos

Press Conference and Street March After Mehserle Preliminary Hearing, Oakland, 5/18/09: photos

The People Vs. Mehserle Teach-In, Oakland, 5/17/09: photos and audio

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