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Oakland Police shot Tony Jones, 24, late Sunday. He is a cousin of Oscar Grant, whose murder by BART police officer Johannes Mehserle sparked a movement for justice that presaged the Occupy movement. Unarmed, Jones was running from police, “but that does not give them the right to shoot him in the back,” declared his attorney, Waukeen McCoy.
Support Fly Benzo twice on Friday, Jan. 6: 1) Pack the courtroom for the first day of his trial on Friday, Jan. 6, 9 a.m., at 850 Bryant in Department 22; 2) Party with Fly at his ‘Conscious Minds at Work Reggae, Arts and Hip-Hop Mixer & Fundraiser’ on Friday, Jan. 6, 7 p.m., at Twin Space Continuum, 2111 Mission St., Third Floor #300, San Francisco. To learn more, see "Police critic Fly Benzo keeps catching hell since police murder of Kenneth Harding" at http://sfbayview.com/2011/police-critic-fly-benzo-keeps-catching-hell-since-police-murder-of-kenneth-harding/
All of this was more than a reaction to the Occupy movement. It’s best understood as the latest battle between police and residents in at least two years of civil unrest in the city, beginning with the killing of Oscar Grant by ex-transit officer Johannes Mehserle on New Year’s Day 2009.
“The police in our community occupy our area, our community, as a foreign troop occupies territory. And the police are in our community not to promote our welfare or our security or our safety, but they are there to contain us, to brutalize us and murder us,” said Huey P. Newton, co-founder and minister of defense of the Black Panther Party. Hunters Point has stood up to the Lennar Corp. and the City about the shipyard. It is time to expand that movement to include police terrorism, put new energy into it, and claim our right to live and not be wantonly killed.
Shot dead in his car on July 15, 2011, a mere 30 and a half months after Oscar’s BART police assassination, Johntue Caldwell, godfather of Oscar Grant’s daughter, Tatiana, was one of the terrorized Black youth on the Fruitvale BART platform with Oscar on Jan. 1, 2009. He leaves behind two young sons.
On July 3, 2011, at 9:45 p.m., a 45-year-old scruffy looking man of European descent — only identified eight days later through his driver’s license picture as Charles Blair Hill, described ad nauseam by the corporate press as a “wobbly drunk” and a “crazy hippy” — met a violent fate on a San Francisco Civic Center BART platform at the hands of two BART thugs in blue, one white and one Asian.
The lyrics to B.B. King’s classic “The Thrill is Gone” was the first thing that ran through my head when I showed up at both of the rallies that were held to “protest” the release from jail of Johannes Mehserle on Sunday, June 12. The speakers seemed to be a tad bit angry but not focused enough to do anything significant that would put police murders on the national radar. JUST ADDED: Minister of Information JR leads a full hour of debate on issues swirling around the murder of Oscar Grant by Johannes Mehserle broadcast on KPFA Wednesday morning.
Because California penal code does not classify involuntary manslaughter as a “violent” or “serious” offense, Johannes Mehserle, the convicted killer of Oscar Grant, could be released as early as mid-June of this year, after serving less than one year behind bars.
AT&T Park shook so hard I thought I was on a pogo stick the night Barry Bonds crushed a 3-2 Mike Bacsik pitch into right center to go past the great Hank Aaron and crown himself Major League Baseball’s all-time home-run king. He circled those bases to a deafening hometown roar.
Over 100 family members, religious leaders and community supporters held a prayer vigil and speak-out on New Year’s Day in front of the Fruitvale BART station to commemorate the second anniversary of the BART police killing of Oscar Grant, a young Black man.
Documents recently obtained by The Informant reveal the significant involvement of state and federal law enforcement in monitoring the various Oscar Grant protests in Oakland over the past two years. “They’re documenting who the agitators are. This is all COINTELPRO resurfacing,” says the attorney representing those arrested in the July 8 protests.
Last week an officer who blatantly lied under oath was given her job back. Marysol Domenici was one of the first officers on the scene when Oscar Grant was shot by convicted former BART cop Johannes Mehserle. The Bay Area is asking 1) How could Domenici be reinstated in the face of all her wrongdoings? 2) Why has she not been charged with perjury?
In the Bay Area, the veneer of police impunity seems to be thinning even as high-profile cases of police shooting unarmed Black men – in Oakland and nearby Vallejo – continue to occur. Guy Jarreau Jr. was shot and killed by Vallejo police Saturday, Dec. 11. Facing the officer with his hands up, “Guy didn’t have a gun,” said witnesses.
Just days after Johannes Mehserle was given a mere two-year sentence for the cold-blooded murder of Oscar Grant (see “Token Sentence for Oscar Grant’s Killer: Anger in the Streets of Oakland”), another unarmed Black man has been killed by police in Oakland. On Monday, Nov. 8, two cops from the Oakland Police Department (OPD) shot and killed Derrick “Dee Dee” Jones, an act that drew immediate outrage.
Minister of Information JR talks with Jack Bryson, the father of two sons who were with Oscar Grant the night he was murdered on the Fruitvale BART platform on New Year’s 2009. They discuss Jack's fight for justice for Oscar, Johannes Mehserle's sentencing and how Oscar's murder has affected his family and close friends.
Tens of thousands of protesters took to the streets outside the U.S. 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals here and around the world Nov. 9, demanding that Mumia Abu-Jamal must live and be free and that the U.S. must abolish the death penalty and end racist killings and brutality by police.
Hours after San Francisco Bay Area radio show host JR Valrey screened his documentary film, “Operation Small Axe,” about police brutality at a university in Philadelphia, daily newspapers in that city carried articles about two separate lawsuits filed against Philly police alleging brutality. “Police brutality is definitely not ‘isolated incidents,’ as officials always say after each new killing or beating by police,” said Valrey, host of the Block Report, a program aired on KPFA-FM, the Pacifica station in the Bay Area.
I was swept up and arrested Friday night in Oakland at the end of the Justice for Oscar Grant march. As usual, most Bay Area TV stations gave a factually awful – very pro-police – spin to what happened.
Another unarmed Black brother, Derrick Jones, 37, barbershop owner and father of an infant girl, met a violent death on Monday night, shot and killed by two Oakland police officers while “fleeing.” March for justice Thursday 3 p.m. from Bancroft & Seminary.