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A hard look at the upcoming trial of Oscar Grant triggerman Johannes Mehserle

May 25, 2010

Click to enlarge, print and distribute in the LA area. For a high resolution version of this flier, email editor@sfbayview.com or call the Bay View at (415) 671-0789.
Get ready to pack the courtroom for Mehserle’s trial at a two-day event in LA, ‘We Are Oscar Grant! Film Screening & Town Hall Forum at AFIBA Center, 5730 Crenshaw Blvd, Los Angeles:

  • Friday, June 4, 6:30 p.m., ‘Operation Small Axe’ film screening followed by town hall meeting on the film and the trial

  • Saturday, June 5, 6:30 p.m., ‘Operation Small Axe’ film screening with performance by Someothaship Connect (Declaime, Georgia Ann Muldrow)

  • Also, the LA Coalition for Justice for Oscar Grant meets every Sunday, 5 p.m., at Chuco’s Justice Center, 1137 E. Redondo Blvd, Inglewood

by Thandisizwe Chimurenga

The May 7 hearing for Johannes Mehserle, the former transit cop who killed Oscar Grant on New Year’s Day of 2009, settled several key issues prior to the beginning of the trial scheduled for June 2010. The waters have been somewhat muddied, however, due to much of the media coverage surrounding this case, both before and after the May 7 hearing. This essay takes a deeper look at the issues – and their implications.

One: Did Johannes Mehserle ‘shoot’ and ‘kill’ Oscar Grant?

Johannes Mehserle did in fact shoot and kill Oscar Grant. That is not a disputable fact; it is completely true and accurate.

Every video of the incident that has surfaced thus far shows the indisputable fact that Johannes Mehserle shot Oscar Grant.

Opening for the May 22 dead prez concert marking the 10th anniversary of the release of their first album, “Let’s Get Free,” was a lively panel discussion on the Justice 4 Oscar Grant Campaign. Eager for information about the upcoming trial of Oscar Grant triggerman Johannes Mehserle, the first cop in California to be tried for murder, the audience that packed the venue listened intently to the panelists: from left, Jack Bryson, father of two of Oscar’s friends who were with him when he was killed, rapper and activist Ras Ceylon, Prisoners of Conscience Committee Minister of Information JR, associate editor of the Bay View, jazz violinist and the first female member of the Black Panther Party Tarika Lewis and M1 of dead prez. – Photo: Scott Braley
Mehserle’s defense is that he meant to pull his Taser and not his gun when he shot Oscar Grant, but he does not deny shooting Oscar Grant.

Michael Rains, Mehserle’s defense attorney states in his proposed instructional brief to the court, “There is no doubt that Mehserle fired the shot that killed Grant ….”

The only doubt seems to exist in the many media reports of the case.

These many media reports, possibly due to confusion of legal terminology and/or the laws concerning libel – or in furtherance of society’s leanings to give cops the benefit of the doubt – state that Mehserle “allegedly shot” Grant (http://bit.ly/3M0r86, http://bit.ly/bK4Kac, http://bit.ly/9dxlor, http://bit.ly/aO7pjv).

Mehserle did in fact shoot Grant in the back as Grant lay on his stomach on an Oakland subway platform on Jan. 1, 2009.

Mehserle’s shooting and killing of Oscar Grant is not an allegation; it is indisputable fact.

What is disputed is whether Mehserle did it on purpose or not. If he did in fact intentionally shoot Oscar Grant, that would be murder.

Cartoon by Phillip Lee
Mehserle was indicted for murder June 4, 2009, in Alameda County, California, with Superior Court Judge Don Clay ruling that Mehserle should stand trial for murder.

The purpose of the trial, scheduled to begin June 10, is to determine if Mehserle is indeed guilty of murder. According to the Judicial Council of California Criminal Jury Instructions, effective Aug. 14, 2009 (CALCRIM):

“Homicide is the killing of one human being by another. Murder and manslaughter are type[s] of homicide … If there is no legally valid excuse or justification, the killing is unlawful and, depending on the circumstances, the person is guilty of either murder or manslaughter.”

There are “degrees” to murder: first degree or second degree. In order to be convicted of murder in the first degree, “malice aforethought” must be present.

“Malice aforethought” is defined by West’s Encyclopedia of American Law as “A predetermination to commit an act without legal justification or excuse; a malicious design to injure. An intent, at the time of a killing, willfully to take the life of a human being, or an intent willfully to act in callous and wanton disregard of the consequences to human life; but malice aforethought does not necessarily imply any ill will, spite or hatred towards the individual killed.”

This is what the jury will be deciding in June and, until it does, this is what the media should be careful in reporting.

Two: Oscar Grant’s ‘criminal past’

Mehserle’s defense attorney submitted to the court – as evidence of prior misconduct – an arrest report from Oct. 15, 2006, in which Grant was charged with resisting arrest. The report states the facts leading up to and including Grant’s arrest on that date and that the arresting officer used a Taser to subdue him. Rains submitted this report as evidence under Section 352 of California’s Evidence Code. It is the only document that Rains sought to enter into evidence on this issue.

Judge Robert Perry allowed into evidence certain portions of the report and denied others. Specifically, Perry believes that the issue of Grant’s resistance in this case should be heard by the jury, but that the other facts contained in the arrest report of Oct. 15, 2006, are not relevant to what happened to Grant on Jan. 1, 2009.

In other words, a portion of one arrest report from 2006 will be mentioned during the trial. No other arrest reports were submitted to the court by Michael Rains, Mehserle’s attorney. Judge Perry additionally ruled that other facts related to Oscar Grant’s background and history were also not relevant and will not be allowed for discussion at the trial.

Media headlines of this portion of the May 7 hearing reported that “Grant’s Criminal Past” (http://bit.ly/aYdUOQ) or that “Grant’s Criminal History” (http://bit.ly/9PpyVI, http://bit.ly/byQLkm) will be allowed at trial.

While this is factually accurate, headlines stating “Grant Resisted Arrest on Prior Occasion” or “Grant’s Arrest Report” would also be just as factually accurate.

The difference between the two sets of examples may be that one conjures up images of a hardened career criminal, while the other may pertain to an aspect of a person’s past.

During the May 22 Justice 4 Oscar Grant Campaign panel discussion that opened for the dead prez 10th anniversary concert, renowned jazz violinist Tarika Lewis, the first woman to join the Black Panther Party, exchanges a glance with panel moderator Minister of Information JR. The other panelists were Jack Bryson, whose sons were with Oscar when he was killed, rapper and activist Ras Ceylon and M1 of dead prez. – Photo: Scott Braley
Michael Rains stated in court that it was not his intention to cast aspersions on Mr. Grant; it would not be “appropriate” or “right.” Alameda County District Attorney David Stein, however, stated that was exactly what Rains was doing and objected to the inclusion of the arrest report as evidence of a “character trait.”

Stein’s argument was that this one incidence of resisting arrest was more likely evidence of a “habit” and not a character trait. Habit would be how a person responds to a particular environment; it is not character evidence.

Procedurally, Stein’s argument was that Grant’s alleged resistance should be classified under Section 1105 of the California Criminal Code:

“Any otherwise admissible evidence of habit or custom is admissible to prove conduct on a specified occasion in conformity with the habit or custom.”

Judge Perry stated more than once throughout the more-than-six-hour hearing that “the nature and quality of Oscar Grant’s resistance will be a central issue in this trial.” Elsewhere during the hearing, the judge specifically ruled that Mehserle’s defense could not refer to Grant’s resistance as unlawful, stating that this was an issue for the jury to decide.

The arresting officer’s words of Oct. 15, 2006, are the only authority on this matter. No videos – cell phone or otherwise – exist. To question whether or not Oscar Grant actually resisted is not too farfetched. We may never truly know what the “nature and quality” of this incident was.

The various videos of Mehserle’s shooting of Oscar Grant available on the internet show a BART officer – subsequently identified as Tony Pirone – with his knee on Oscar Grant’s head, neck or upper back.

At one point, observers of the video can see former Officer Pirone changing position, switching to his opposite knee, which is on Oscar Grant’s neck or upper back, and putting his hand on Oscar Grant’s head. It is during the placing of Pirone’s knee that Oscar Grant’s arms appear to be moving.

It is not unreasonable to assume that Oscar Grant’s hands and arms are moving due to the pressure placed on his head, his neck or his upper back by this officer who appears to be somewhat muscular and stout.

This could be what is meant by Judge Perry’s statement regarding the “nature and quality” of Grant’s resistance.

Rapper and activist Ras Ceylon was another panelist at the dead prez concert May 22. – Photo: Scott Braley
Rodney King, the motorist whose videotaped beating by LAPD officers in 1991 was seen around the world, was also accused of resisting arrest. His continued movements to shield himself and to get away from as many as three policemen swinging batons towards his head and upper body were considered to be resistance.

Is it that resistance by men of color is the crime?

A quick word on marijuana

The Alameda County DA submitted to the court an in limine motion to exclude evidence under Evidence Code Section 352 of a small cup of marijuana found at the scene on the subway platform and a “medical marijuana” card that was said to have been found in Oscar Grant’s wallet. The marijuana cup has since been identified as belonging to another individual on the subway platform. Both these two pieces of evidence were excluded from the proceedings and the exclusion was not contested by Mehserle’s defense.

I mention it here only to underscore the possibility that Oscar Grant may have suffered from a malady that quite possibly could have been aggravated by Officer Pirone kneeling on Oscar Grant’s head or neck or upper back, which could also explain Grant’s alleged “resistance.”

Three: Police privilege

Superior Court Judge Robert Perry denied Mehserle’s March 26 motion to augment jury venire. Rains’ motion was a challenge to the California Code of Civil Procedure Section 219, which excludes uniformed law enforcement officers from serving on juries. Rains stated that police officers as a class are systematically excluded from jury service whereas other “classes,” such as firemen, teachers or social workers, are not excluded.

Rains’ argument was that the inclusion of this “class” (police officers) in the pool of potential jurors would provide a greater opportunity for Johannes Mehserle’s constitutional right to a fair and impartial jury, guaranteed under both the U.S. and California constitutions, to be realized.

Rains argued in his motion that the perspective of police should be part of the jury since “the unique powers given to law enforcement officers, as well as the constraints imposed upon them and the organizational structures which define their daily existence, cannot be shared by other members of the community who are outside this profession.”

Judge Perry noted, “Federal agents, FBI, Homeland Security, retired officers have the types of experiences similar to Mehserle,” inferring that such persons are currently allowed to sit on juries. As it is California law to exclude uniformed officers from jury service, the judge denied the motion.

Jack Bryson, father of two friends of Oscar Grant who were with him when he was murdered, is a passionate spokesman for justice for Oscar Grant. He was also on the panel that opened for the dead prez concert. – Photo: Scott Braley
Rains also sought in an April 23 motion to have the court direct the district attorney and prosecution witnesses to refer to Mehserle as “Officer Mehserle” during the trial. Rains argued that doing so would avoid the speculation of guilt by jurors that may arise from the fact that Mehserle resigned rather than provide a statement to BART investigators of his account of the shooting of Oscar Grant.

Judge Perry stated that “he is no longer an officer” and “that would allow confusion,” and the defense’s motion was denied.

And rightly so.

Johannes Mehserle resigned from his employ with BART, through his lawyer, on the very day that he was supposed to be interviewed by BART investigators about his killing of Oscar Grant. He subsequently fled the state and went to Nevada.

Mehserle’s defense maintains that he did not flee but left with the full knowledge of the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office and that his departure was because he feared for his safety. This notwithstanding, he was arrested in Nevada and returned to California.

Defense Attorney Rains submitted a motion asking the court for a bail amount of $100,000. Mehserle’s bail was set at $3 million.

Such a high bail amount can only be due to the evidence he committed a homicide and was a flight risk.

Rains’ request to have Mehserle’s bail lowered at a prior preliminary hearing was denied by Perry, who stated in court that he believed Mehserle did indeed pose a flight risk.

Mehserle’s bail and his defense are said to have been paid for by police unions and a “statewide fund for police officers.”

Why is Johannes Mehserle enjoying the perks of law enforcement privilege even though he resigned his position as a law enforcement officer and fled the state to avoid questioning?

Four: Attorneys and clients and privileges

Michael Rains, attorney for Johannes Mehserle, filed the defense’s list of potential witnesses on May 11 with the court. The list of 27 names includes several BART police officers and several eyewitnesses to Mehserle’s shooting of Oscar Grant in the back, including those who taped the incident either with cell phone cameras or other means, and John Burris, attorney for the family of Oscar Grant in their $50 million lawsuit against the Bay Area Rapid Transit district.

According to Burris, Rains’ listing of him as a “potential witness” in this case is “a disingenuous effort on his part …. He’s made a motion before to have me gagged; the court ruled that it has no jurisdiction over me.”

Why does Michael Rains want John Burris to testify as a witness for the defense? Burris says that Rains wants him to give testimony regarding claims made to him by some of his clients. These clients happen to be many of Oscar Grant’s friends who were with him on the Fruitvale subway platform when Mehserle shot Grant at 2 a.m. on the morning of Jan. 1, 2009.

Cephus Johnson, Oscar Grant’s beloved Uncle Bobby, his mother’s brother, is a powerful family spokesman. – Photo: Scott Braley
In a Feb. 5, 2010, press conference, Burris scolded the media and BART officials for “leaking” information he says was part of confidential settlement agreements between his clients and BART. The information contained testimony regarding what Mehserle said and did in the moments before he shot Oscar Grant in the back.

The San Francisco Chronicle ran a 305-word article on Feb. 1, 2010, headlined, “Unexpected Help for Mehserle – Grant’s Friends” (http://bit.ly/dgRCSm), which quoted unidentified “sources” as saying that the testimony validated Mehserle’s assertion that he intended to Tase Oscar Grant.

During Burris’ Feb. 5 press conference (posted on IndyBay at http://bit.ly/caKWOP), he stated, amongst other things, that the testimony of Oscar Grant’s friends “doesn’t necessarily mean that it helps Mehserle. … (A)t the end of the day, whatever their interpretation of the events, that’s just their interpretation. That’s not evidence; their observations are, but at the end of the day, we all know, there’s a big – huge – number of video tapes in this case. Those video tapes are clear evidence of what took place that night.”

“It is a mischaracterization to say that they’re … ‘helping.’”

In addition to being angry at what he alleges are BART’s leaks of information in violation of a protection order, Burris stated that BART’s actions placed his clients “in a jeopardy situation; you have placed what appears to be snitch jackets on them, and all they were doing was responding to questions and they were responding to questions at a time when it was under a protective order. And so then how come that was released? Was it designed to cause these boys immediate danger?”

Burris claimed later that some of his clients’ family members had been told they would be seen as “snitches” for their testimony and this, Burris believes, is at the heart of Rains’ attempted move.

According to Burris, Rains “wants me to testify regarding claims made by these clients. He wants me to testify if my clients told me that because he (Rains) thinks they might change their testimony. … Any statements made are covered by attorney-client privilege; he knows that.”

Burris says he has not yet received a subpoena to testify. If and when that happens, Burris says his attorney will go into court “and we’ll fight the requirement to testify because of attorney-client privilege.”

Michael Rains also filed, as of April 30, a brief in opposition to the admitting of a Breath Alcohol Testing (BAT) form into evidence in the trial.

The prosecution’s position is that the BAT form is an admission of guilt by Johannes Mehserle. David Mastagni, the lawyer who initially represented Mehserle in the first hours after the shooting, is alleged to have made an objection to a box on the form under the heading of “Reason for Test,” which states the nature of the shooting. The objection was leveled at the reason entitled “Post Accident.”

Mastagni is also alleged to have stated elsewhere that the shooting was not accidental but intentional. A copy of the form submitted to the court by the prosecution shows Mehserle’s signature and a handwritten box that says “Discharge of Firearm” with a checkmark next to it.

Michael Rains gives several arguments in his 11-page brief as to why this form should not be admitted into evidence; not the least of which is the conversation between Mastagni and Mehserle before and after the form was signed. Rains argues that, amongst other things, anything that was said between Mastagni and Mehserle is in the realm of attorney-client privilege.

Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?

The ending to the story is that Judge Robert Perry said the BAT form was “off the table” in terms of being admitted into this trial. Since it was a requirement of Mehserle’s employment to take the test at the time of the incident, it cannot be used against him.

Thandisizwe Chimurenga hosts a show on KPFK Radio in Los Angeles.
The fact that he resigned from BART rather than answer questions during the investigation of the shooting of Oscar Grant – also a requirement of his employment – seems to have vaporized in the wind.

Thandisizwe Chimurenga is a community journalist and a founder and host of Some of Us Are Brave, a Black women’s public affairs show on KPFK-Pacifica Los Angeles. She has worked with the L.A. Watts Times newspaper, the KPFK Evening News and Free Speech Radio News. She is currently covering the trial of Johannes Mehserle, the killer of Oscar Grant, scheduled to begin in Los Angeles in June 2010, for New America Media and several other Bay Area news organizations. She can be reached at tchimurenga@gmail.com.

18 thoughts on “A hard look at the upcoming trial of Oscar Grant triggerman Johannes Mehserle

  1. Dawn

    Grant was a parolee … he was arrested numerous times ……. and had been subdued by a TASER before in San Leandro. He got into a fight which almost turned into a riot at the Fruitvale BART station. Mehserle did not "murder" him. He was obviously reaching for his TASER to make sure Grant stayed subdued.

    Reply
  2. Queen

    @Dawn, well if he intented to "Subdue" Grant, he would still be alive you nitwit. This is the definition of murder 1 : the crime of unlawfully killing a person . He MURDERED this young man. you can subdue a person without MURDERING THEM. I saw the footage of the shooting, when you use a TASER, it has to have contact with the body, Mehserle stood up cocked the GUN and fired. Prior to this cop killing this young man, Oscar was shown laying down and complying with the officer HE WAS NOT RESISTING. Go back and look at the footage for yourself. But if an all white jury in Simi Valley (COP COUNTRY) can aquit the 4 police officer who were beating the crap out of Rodney King stating that what they did to him did not violate his civil rights, I can only imagine what they will try to do to get this guy off. 9 times out of 10 he will walk and he shoud not. Cop almost always get off MURDER is legal, when you are a cop.

    Reply
    1. Tanya

      A taser does not have to have contact with a body before it is discharged. You are most certainly incorrect in that statement. If a taser had to have contact with a body before being discharged then it defeats the purpose of being used to subdue an individual. I think you need to go back and re check your video facts. Its very clear that OG was struggling while he was on the platform. If he was not resisting arrest he would not be moving around on the platform and it would not take two officers to handcuff him. Just because he was lying face down does not mean he was not combative, it does not mean he was following instructions, it does not mean he was unable to retrieve any weapons. Due to witness statements, not just statements from the police on scene, both officers involved in the arrest of oscar grant told him to quite resisting and gave him fair warning that if he did not stop resisting he would be tasered.

      Reply
    2. Tanya

      The public seems to think that the cops have to get into an all out brawl with a subject before being able to taser or subdue a subject. That is not the case. The fact that a subject resists at all gives police the right use their taser. Bottom line is OG should have done what he was told. Are you kidding me? Charge him with murder??? You are crazy. To charge someone with murder you have to prove intent to commit murder and there is none. This was an accident of drawing the wrong weapon in a moment of chaos. Lets not forget why the police were there in the first place – because the group OG was with was out of control and causing fights on the BART Train. They had zero respect for law enforcement. Perhaps if OG friends, including himself, conducted themselves in a manner that is acceptable to society instead of acting like a bunch of out of control hoodlums who terrorize the general public, perhaps this incident would never have happened in the first place.

      Reply
      1. Tanya

        Its time people start holding OG accountable for his own actions instead of blaming the police for everything that happens. Behave in a way that is appropriate and you don't have police involvement. First and foremost our officers have to be concerned with their safety and the safety of the general public. When there are reports of weapons being used in a fight and you have a person who was involved in that fight resisting arrest and keeping his hands under his body to make cops think he may be reaching for a weapon, then sorry but he gets what he gets. I am married to a police officer and its people like my husband who put their lives on the line daily having to deal with people who lack any sort of deceny or moral. . Its people like OG and his friends and their complete lack of respect or regard for other people or law enforcement that buries our officers every year. I am glad OG lack of respect for authority did not claim the life of one of our officers who risk their lives every day becuase the some don't know how to behave. Its time to throw the race card and look at the situation for what it is.

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        1. Tanya

          OG attempted to get up when he was told he was under arrest. He threw out racist comments to the officers. He refused to give officers his hands when he was placed on his torso and told he was under arrest. He was given numerous opportunites to show his hands and stop resisting and HE CHOSE NOT TO. For once blame the person who refused to listen and stop throwing around racism

          Reply
    1. Tanya

      Very easily when you are not used to carrying one and very easily when you are concerned for your safety and the safety of others and have a split second to react. You are obviously not a cop and until you wear a gun and a badge and are involved in tense situations no one expects you to understand. Mehserle is not guilty of murder – Like I said above if OG had listened to what he was told to do he would stil be here. For once lets blame the ones who refuse to listen to those in authority.

      Reply
  3. Rocket55

    Mehserle will walk because he has been over-charged. I believe this to be intentional on the part of the Alameda County DA . A jury would be more likely to convict on Second Degree Murder with negligent homicide as a lesser included offense or Involuntary Manslaughter. The DA was well aware of the challenge of proving First Degree Murder in this case and Mehserle's legal team very likely views this as a gift of sorts.

    By charging First Degree Murder they placate the community calling for Mehserle's head. They also satisfy the Police Unions by pursuing a charge they know to be virtually impossible to prove. As a result, Mehserle will walk .

    The actions of the DA will deprive all of us of the much needed debate on appropriate use of force, proportionate response, and ultimately Police accountability .

    I consider it unlikely that Mehserle's act was anything other than a stupid over-reaction on the part of an ill-trained , inexperienced police force. Oscar Grant's past history is irrelevant in this case. What is relevant is the what was transpiring at the moment he was shot. Even if we accept that he was resisting, with officer Pirone's knee on his neck, he posed no imminent threat to the police or bystanders. Tasing him would have represented excessive use of force. Additional officers could have assisted Mehserle , easily gaining his compliance without resorting to the use of any weapon.

    Police Departments in this country have been allowed to develop an 'us against them " mentality with predictably tragic results.

    Reply
    1. Tanya

      I object. OG past history is not irrelevant. He was known to do drugs and he was known to carry a pistol. Cops do their checks through dispatch when they detain someone. The fact that there were weapons seen on the train, the fact that OG was involved in a fight, resisted arrest and would not give officers his hands is a warning sign to officers that the subject is dangerous and they have to be concerned about their safety first and foremost. I also object that he posed no imminent threat to police. If he was cooperating you would not see him moving all over the platform nor would it take two officers trying to handcuff him. Until you have your subjects hands in handcuffs there is always an imminent threat of the subject reaching for unknown weapons they may have on their person as well as reaching for cops weapons not to mention a physical altercation. You are under the impression that a fight with an officer has to be out of control to use a taser and you are wrong.

      Reply
      1. Tanya

        If a subject refuses to listen to police and are being placed under arrest and resist, then the use of a taser is not considered excessive force. As i have said before the police wouldn't have been there if OG and his friends had been acting like decent well behaved citizens. Instead they were acting like a bunch of hoodlums. Blame OG for his actions. Mehserle will be aquitted of this ridiculous charge.

        Reply
    2. junya

      First, many thanks to author and SF Bayview for this excellent analysis.

      @Rocket55: I am also inclined to see this as yet another case "fixed to fail", like the trial of Emmett Till's murderers (as I reported here last year at http://www.sfbayview.com/2009/aftermath-of-the-ex… ), for precisely the reasons you've given.

      But it is not clear to me that the outcome will be as straightforward as you state: that Mehserle will walk, the community will be placated, and the debate on police use of force will be averted. The Justice for Oscar Grant movement has demonstrated a tenacity that's unusual for the US memory-less society. In fact, these events have already widened and deepened awareness of police use of force issues.

      Historically, change in social justice comes not from the outcome of any single case, but from propagation of a social consciousness. Emmett Till's murderers won the case and were freed. But that only served to ignite the civil rights movement, and thus helped to bring an end to that particular form of social injustice. In summary: yes, the DA may have fixed this case to fail. But how we respond to that outcome is up to us – and not under the control of the DA (or the justice system) to fix.

      Reply
  4. Sekemet

    We need a whole new law here in this land of milk and honey called America. It is BSKW. Put into action by the voice of drum. Imagine a crime free world, when this age of Kali does come to an end. Rejoice once again in ever shining light. Righteous Judgment will be our decision makers.

    Reply
  5. mhk

    THE TWINKIE DEFENSE – PART II?

    On 27 November 1978, Daniel James White, a former member of the SFPD & of the SF Board of Supervisors entered SF City Hall through a basement window (to avoid metal detectors) with a loaded gun and 10 rounds of ammunition. He then assassinated Mayor George Moscone and Supervisor Harvey Milk at close range, in broad daylight, during work hours, and in full view of witnesses… (See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dan_White and http://www.snopes.com/legal/twinkie.asp)

    Racist, homophobic Dan White did this with premeditation and malice aforethought. He then turned himself in, 'tearfully' confessed, and enjoyed immensely his nightly conjugal visits with his wife as he was charged with 1st degree murder. But then, he was convicted of manslaughter and given 7 years in Soledad State Prison, only 5 of which he served. A white male, ex-pig, ex-supervisor, ex-power structured, self-appointed savior of white manhood literally got away with murder.

    He managed this amazing feat by having his attorneys argue for 'diminished capacity,' brought on by reports of long standing clinical depression and exacerbated by the over consumption of sugar; ie. by eating too many Hostess Twinkies such that he couldn't really tell right from wrong.

    So that we don't get it twisted: The diminished capacity plea is based in the belief that certain people, because of mental impairment or disease, are simply incapable of reaching the mental state required to commit a particular crime. In the example of murder and manslaughter, a diminished capacity defense contends that a certain defendant is incapable of intending to cause a death, and therefore must have at most caused such a death recklessly. Thus, a successful plea of diminished capacity in a murder trial would likely result in the charge being reduced to manslaughter. http://topics.law.cornell.edu/wex/diminished_capa

    And an extremely foolish SF jury 'bought' this argument hook, line, and sinker.

    After his release from prison, Dan White promptly returned to SF to live, (over the objections of then SF Mayor Dianne Feinstein) where he happily confessed to premeditated murder by taking pride in telling SFPD Homicide Inspector Frank Falzon in 1998 that he had been 'on a mission' in 1978, and that he had also intended to kill Supervisor Carol Ruth Silver and future SF city mayor Willie Brown.

    Reply
  6. mhk

    THE TWINKIE DEFENSE: PART II? (cont.)

    I mention this case because Michael Rain, Johannes Mehserle's attorney, may be setting the stage prime time to attempt a similar defense of Johannes Mehserle, especially since it is now very public knowledge that the relative sizes and dimensions of a Taser v those of a gun are very dissimilar; police experts have testified that Mehserle acted outside the rules of his own training; and that Oscar Grant photographed his killer (Mehserle) with a Taser in his hands prior to his own assassination.

    I wish that I could reach onto the next plane of existence and hold Oscar Grant III – hold him as an AFRIKAN Woman parent would hold a strong and sensitive young man who experienced unending pain and torture for no reason other than that a lynch mob of out of control pigs wished to torture an AFRIKAN and didn't care who was watching, believing that they'd get away with any and everything they did. Believing that they are 'above the law.'

    Obviously, since Mehserle shot Oscar Grant to death, he could not have 'mistakenly' drawn his Taser instead of his gun, re-holstered his Taser, and then 'accidentally' shot and killed Oscar Grant. Oscar begged for his life to raise his baby daughter. And while he withstanding open cruelty, he managed to take a picture of his killer, a beast who was so rabidly enjoying what he was doing that he didn't even notice that he was literally on candid camera.

    I would have liked to have known Oscar Grant III. I have nothing but praise and major props for his family and friends.

    But Mehserle, the powers that be in the city of Oakland, and the OPD and their minions and friends are already avidly preparing for more premeditated murder – and on a much grander scale – to be able to kill, maim, and imprison more Oakland folx at will, carte blanche, in the event of rebellions if Mehserle walks.
    (See: OPD Prepares For Possible Mehserle Verdict Unrest; http://cbs5.com/local/mehserle.verdict.preps.2.17… )

    They won't be 'accidentally' firing anything. Pre-meditated murder is being openly advertised as 'preparation,' to protect downtown Oakland businesses; with an inherent cause & effect clause that has nothing whatever to do with 'protecting and serving' anyone but a murderous Oakland/U. ASS of AMERIKAN power structure….

    BeCAUSE: we the people refuse to be enslaved and murdered at will. We dared to refuse to live on our knees. We rose up and snatched an enslaving, rampaging pig and put him and his cohorts and their system on trial for committing the heinous crimes of 1st degree murder, racism and attempted genocide against one and all of our respected young ones. The effect of doing this to them has made them lose their minds. Dementia has set in at the thought of us daring to dare, daring to flip the script, daring to fight for our very lives.

    Those considered to be rabbits grew teeth, rose up, snatched some of the guns, and courtroom/multi-media tactical planning and fought back.

    I say with the utmost respect, pride, and love; from an adult AFRIKAN Woman, who is decades older than Oscar was and would have been – that I recognize that he was a baby – a young AFRIKAN Man in the prime of his life who did not deserve to be set upon, terrorized, and assassinated by rampaging, ravening pigs who ultimately stole his physical being from his community, family, and friends.

    We old ones must do better than this. We must not let these savages take their frenetic and wasted and empty, twisted, maggoty, centuries of spawned illnesses out on our young.

    It is no secret that more than 30% of the people caught in the grip of 'just – us,' are Black. OG III is now an Ancestor, caught up in this horrific statistic. This system hasn't ever considered stats like this a crime. Tony Pirone's caustic epithets of 'bitch assed n****r prove this: Pirone's nasty predecessors made it clear that this is what they've preferred since the first AFRIKANS were stolen from wherever on the planet we had made our original homes, before the incursions of invaders of all stripes, colors, and national origins.

    Pirone was grown from Willy Lynch loins.

    Given what has, is, and is being prepared to happen therefore – it would be prudent for us to recognize that a new chapter in 'open season on AFRIKANS' is being planned and will be enacted – again – if we let it.

    How we prevail in the face of this 21st century monstrosity will tell our generations to come whether or not we were/are worthy of them; and whether or not the same battles will have to be fought – and be won – by them – in their lifetimes.

    We'd better step up for Oscar, and for a better world.

    War Wtihout Terms,
    m

    Reply
  7. rico

    please watch Brutal Badge on youtube(a solution to stop torture&murder by law enforcement), in 6 parts, especially part 5…And recommend it to your friends…. Thank you kindly! I was not allowed to publish this letter which even had a response from Pm. Gordon Brown and other world leders, in any newspaper, or any other type of media, in so called democratic Sweden!!!!

    Reply
  8. Chaussure Christian Louboutin

    We are going to using workboxes too My spouse and i posted in regards to the general process lately and a few on the amount tag cloud I created for our own preschooler. Within the next weeks I shall be publishing one other printables far too number strips, numbers, and soooo much more!. All of us are genuinely experiencing these people and we all changed the item and fit our house and this is being released in any publish rapidly!

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