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Police victims’ families are fueling the Black Lives Matter movement – gathering of families and Panthers Feb. 27

February 20, 2016

 

“Policing in the 21st Century: Where Do We Go from Here,” uniting police victims’ families with Black Panther Party veterans will be held Saturday, Feb. 27, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., at First AME Church, 530 37th St., Oakland; it’s free and open to the public

by Cephus ‘Uncle Bobby’ Johnson, uncle of Oscar Grant

On Jan. 1, 2009, at 2:11 a.m. on the Fruitvale BART Station platform, my life was drastically changed forever, when BART Police Officer Johannes Mehserle unholstered his SIG Sauer P226 weapon and fired one bullet into my nephew’s back. It traveled through his body, exiting out his chest, ricocheting off the platform floor and reentering his chest, collapsing Oscar’s lung. One bullet, with two entries and one exit. Oscar would die six hours later at Highland Hospital.

Rise Up October, a national protest against police terror held Oct. 24-24 in New York City, culminated the final day in a mass march and rally, “Rise Up: Which Side Are You On?” Cephus Johnson was a featured speaker.

Rise Up October, a national protest against police terror held Oct. 24-24 in New York City, culminated the final day in a mass march and rally, “Rise Up: Which Side Are You On?” Cephus Johnson was a featured speaker.

I will never forget the day I received the news that my nephew, Oscar, had been shot and killed – not knowing at first that he was killed by the police. Watching the KTVU News raw video of the execution was devastating. My ability to stand, speak, hear and understand was ripped from my consciousness. When I came back to consciousness, I was on the floor of my mother’s home.

All I remember was rage, anger and revenge. Then, in the act of getting up from that floor, a calming spirit of thankfulness came over me. Though I was furious, I was grateful for the last text message I sent Oscar before he died: “Uncle love you, God love you, and God loves your family.”

The shot that took Oscar’s life an hour and a half later inspired us all to advocate for an end to police brutality in Oakland.

Oscar Grant would spark a movement that would change forever the world view on policing. He was martyred for a movement that we see circling the world today to oppose police terrorism. Oscar is an example of why the Black Panthers came into existence in Oakland.

In the 1940s and 1950s, during World War II, the shipbuilding industry created a job boom in Oakland. Tens of thousands of poor farmworkers, both Black and white, left the Deep South for Oakland in the hope of landing jobs.

The Southern whites brought with them the expectations of the preferential treatment that they received in the Jim Crow states and expected a subservient attitude from their Black coworkers. But the Southern Blacks, no longer under the yoke of Jim Crow segregation, began to fight back and demand equal treatment in the Oakland community.

In the 1950s, the Oakland Police Department began openly recruiting white police officers from the Deep South to impose unofficial Jim Crow injustice in the city of Oakland. Oakland police and the Black community began to have an antagonistic relationship.

Oscar Grant would spark a movement that would change forever the world view on policing. He was martyred for a movement that we see circling the world today to oppose police terrorism. 

In 1950, the California state Assembly Committee on Crime and Corrections opened three days of hearings on police brutality in Oakland, California. The 1950 hearings are significant because they were the first time the state of California investigated and held hearings on relations between local police and Black communities.

The committee held hearings in Oakland because of the organizing undertaken by the Civil Rights Congress (CRC), the NAACP and their progressive allies. C.L. Dellums, a leader in the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters Union and civil rights leader with the NAACP, was among the 53 people who testified about police-community relations in Oakland.

He declared, quite succinctly, that many people in Oakland’s Black communities had “no confidence that they can get redress from the lawlessness of the law.” Although the hearings did not end police brutality in Black communities, they brought the issue to the forefront of local politics and ended some of the most egregious behavior in the Oakland Police Department.

The 1950 hearings are significant because they were the first time the state of California investigated and held hearings on relations between local police and Black communities.

Moreover, the hearings were part of a larger, community-based struggle against police brutality that emerged during World War II in the Bay Area. The civil rights activism in the 1940s and 1950s, especially the organizing against police brutality, shaped the emergence of 1960s activism in the Bay Area.

The brutality of these Southern cops gave impetus to the formation of the Black Panther Party in Oakland in 1966. The emphasis on police brutality and community organizing by the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense parallels the activism to end police brutality in Oakland during the 1940s and 1950s.

Cephus Johnson’s Love Not Blood Campaign sponsored a reception for police victims’ families during the Justice or Else 20th anniversary of the Million Man March in Washington, D.C., last October.

Cephus Johnson’s Love Not Blood Campaign sponsored a reception for police victims’ families during the Justice or Else 20th anniversary of the Million Man March in Washington, D.C., last October.

The activism in Oakland today parallels both the activism periods to end police brutality in Oakland, the 1940s and 1950s and the Black Panthers’ activism beginning in 1966. However, a new source of activism has been added today: the victims’ families.

This is significant because the family activism role has added a new dimension to the long tradition of activism in Oakland. With the help of that dimension, for the first time in California policing history, a police officer – Johannes Mehserle – was charged, arrested, convicted and sent to jail.

The critical role of the families cannot be overemphasized. Never in United States history have families fueled activism as we see in the 21st century. And now they are coming together.

In Ferguson, Missouri, on Aug. 9, 2015, Oscar Grant’s Uncle Bobby, Brother Shahid and Michael Brown Sr. support each other on the one year anniversary of the police murder of Michael Brown Jr.

In Ferguson, Missouri, on Aug. 9, 2015, Oscar Grant’s Uncle Bobby, Brother Shahid and Michael Brown Sr. support each other on the one year anniversary of the police murder of Michael Brown Jr.

The families of nationally known police victims, such as the Sandra Bland family, Eric Garner family, Tamir Rice family, Rekia Boyd family, Emmett Till family, Michael Brown family, Sean Bell family and more, plus local families, such as the Alan Blueford, Alex Nieto, Mario Woods, Oscar Grant families and others affected by police terrorism will be together in Oakland to discuss “Policing in the 21st Century: Where Do We Go from Here” with legendary Oakland Black Panther Party members Ericka Huggins, Tarika Lewis, David Hilliard and Clarence Thomas.

To hear the truth, you must let the suffering speak. Martin Luther King said it this way: “Cowardice asks the question, is it safe? Expediency asks the question, is it politic? Vanity asks the question, is it popular? But conscience asks the question, is it right? And there comes a time when we must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but one must take it because it is right.”

The critical role of the families cannot be overemphasized. Never in United States history have families fueled activism as we see in the 21st century. And now they are coming together.

“Policing in the 21st Century: Where Do We Go from Here” – free and open to the public – will be held Saturday, Feb. 27, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., at First AME Church, 530 37th St., Oakland. The event is presented by the Love Not Blood Campaign and the Oscar Grant Foundation. To register, visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/policing-in-the-21st-century-where-do-we-go-from-here-tickets-21286127380.

That evening, 6-10 p.m., the Oscar Grant Foundation is sponsoring a dinner, “Remembering Oscar Grant III: Where Do We Go from Here?” at the Mission Paradise Banquet Hall, 31115 Mission Blvd, Hayward. To register for the dinner, go to https://www.eventbrite.com/e/remembering-oscar-grant-iii-tickets-21003373656?utm-medium=discovery&utm-campaign=social&utm-content=attendeeshare&aff=esfb&utm-source=fb&utm-term=listing.

This is a CALL TO ACTION: WILL YOU STAND?

Cephus “Uncle Bobby” Johnson, uncle of Oscar Grant, can be reached at uncle.bobby.johnson@gmail.com. Visit Eventbrite for more information about the family gathering: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/policing-in-the-21st-century-where-do-we-go-from-here-tickets-21286127380.

On Oct. 31, 2015, in London, Cephus Johnson spoke at the annual United Families and Friends Coalition’s March for Justice to the No. 10 Downing home of the British prime minister. Both videos were recorded then.

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4 thoughts on “Police victims’ families are fueling the Black Lives Matter movement – gathering of families and Panthers Feb. 27

  1. فكرتنا

    حكم العادة السرية في الاسلام

    هل تعلم لماذا يحب الرجل الطيز و الترمة‬

    صدمة لكل البنات : كيف تعرف أن زوجتك كانت تمارس العادة السرية

    ‬بالفيديو شاب يشعر بالميول للمثلية الجنسية اللواط شاهد ماذا أجابته هبة قطب

    أسباب و علاج الضعف الجنسي عن الرجال‬ ؟

    كنيازة || أسرار الرعشة الجنسية الافريقية

    دوام العلاقة الجنسية ساعتان

    الشيخ الكبيسي مص الذكر و لحس القضيب حلال بين الزوجين

    هدايا عيد الحب افكار هدية عيد الحب جميلة

    عيد الحب و رسائل عيد الحب 2016 Valentine's day‬

    رسائل عيد الحب 2016 و قصة عيد الحب الفلانتين Valentine's day

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