July 17, 2010
Who benefits? Who feels threatened by groups of people in our streets united to demand changes? Who wants to make the public hate and fear demonstrators and afraid and unwilling to participate in public gatherings for civic purposes? Who wants to make us feel afraid of each other?
July 15, 2010
Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums had a chance to shine last Thursday, after the verdict was announced in the murder trial of transit cop Johannes Mehserle for the Jan. 1, 2009, killing of 22-year-old unarmed Black man Oscar Grant. But instead of standing with the people, Dellums stood with his police chief, and together they proceeded to criminalize the entire community.
July 15, 2010
A sampling of reactions from small and independent news reporters during the July 8 protest rally called by the Los Angeles Coalition for Justice for Oscar Grant is recorded in these videos. The rally was called in response to the involuntary manslaughter verdict handed down by a Los Angeles jury just hours before.
July 14, 2010
On the 8th of July, 2010, the people of the world took to the streets of Oakland to make our displeasure felt at the non-verdict delivered to the killer cop who assassinated Ancestor-Warrior Spirit Oscar Grant III in cold blood on a BART platform a year and a half ago, 1 January 2009. And it wasn’t “outside agitators” who consistently outflanked and outmanned the so-called finest of several different police departments – most of whom were definitely from outside of Oakland. It was thousands and thousands of us who don’t have shit. It was the lumpen proletariat that George Jackson spoke of.
July 13, 2010
Oscar Grant’s family told reporters Saturday that the letter of apology from Mehserle should have come much sooner and should have been directed to them personally. Mehserle’s attorney, Michael Rains, told KGO-TV on Sunday, “I don’t think that when the family remains that hostile and that nasty and mean-spirited that Mr. Mehserle should be out there offering olive branches because they will not be received.”
July 10, 2010
“I AM,” shouted the speaker at the Oakland protest of the verdict in the trial of ex-BART cop Johannes Mehserle; “OSCAR GRANT!” roared back the crowd at 14th and Broadway. The cold-blooded killer of Oscar Grant had just gotten off with an involuntary manslaughter conviction in a trial in LA. After less than two days deliberation, a jury with no Black members cleared Johannes Mehserle of second degree murder.
July 10, 2010
Addressing those fretting about civil unrest, Michael Walker concluded the press conference by declaring: “For anybody out there who feels like people are against peace, if you really want peace in this city, then fight for justice, and I guarantee you’ll have peace.”
July 10, 2010
More than one hundred people met in Leimert Park in South Los Angeles on July 8 to protest the verdict of Involuntary Manslaughter for Johannes Mehserle, the murderer of Oscar Grant III. The rally lasted more than three hours as organizers, activists and concerned citizens called for justice for Oscar Grant and for accountability and control of the police in Black and Brown communities.
July 9, 2010
At 14th and Broadway, the community was invited to share what was on their hearts. No one was censored and all views were respected. People surrounded the speakers. No one needed to be alone on a day like today. In African traditional healing, the health of an individual is tied to the well-being of community. Oscar Grant’s relatives and friends called for love and respect for life and each other, as they named the enemy: this corrupt judicial system that allows killers to go free. I noticed another rally in front of City Hall. Just a handful of people were there.
July 8, 2010
“They’ve made Johannes Mehserle into a victim in this case and he’s nothing but a brutal killer,” said Aidge Patterson, leader of the LA Coalition for Justice for Oscar Grant. He believes a lack of media coverage of the first cop to be tried for murder in California was intended to quiet people down. “This is obviously one of the most historic cases in the entire country and it should be on every news station, but they’re good at keeping people ignorant.” Thank Minister of Information JR for convincing the Black press to cover the story.
July 3, 2010
In New York, spreading factual information about the Oscar Grant case, I said that Oakland may not have it all right, but we are definitely in the ring battling these big trees with our small axe, and everybody has to admit, whether we win or lose in court, the people of Oakland have declared once again that we are a force to reckon with.
July 3, 2010
THE VERDICT is INVOLUNTARY MANSLAUGHTER. Justice for Oscar Grant says: ‘ All out to Broadway and 14th!’ And heed these wise words: ‘Requesting Activists and Citizens over 50 years old to show up at 14th street and Broadway. HANDS AROUND OUR YOUTH! We the older generation need to be present to protect our youth from possible police brutality. We must bear witness to our youths right to assemble and peacefully demonstrate. Let OPD know these are our children and deserve to be respected as full USA citizens with the right to peacefully demonstrate without police or outside interference. Come and protect our children.’
June 30, 2010
After 13 days of testimony, the defense rested Tuesday in People v. Johannes Mehserle with the calling of Dr. Thomas Rogers to the stand. Dr. Rogers authored the autopsy protocol which stated Grant’s cause of death was a gunshot wound to the torso. Rogers stated there was evidence of blunt force trauma to the left side of Grant’s head. At this point Oscar Grant’s mother began to weep uncontrollably.
June 26, 2010
On Friday, the BART cop who pulled the trigger unjustifiably killing Oscar Grant on a BART station platform in East Oakland, Johannes Mehserle, wrapped up his testimony in one of the most important murder trials of the last 20 years. The courtroom was filled to capacity with reporters, Grant’s family and friends, and concerned community members. Six out of the seven Black males under 40 and three Black journalists were excluded that day from the Los Angeles Jim Crow courtroom of Judge Robert Perry.
June 25, 2010
Day 10 of the People v. Mehserle trial – Thursday, June 24 – ended with the defendant, Johannes Mehserle, taking the stand. The former BART police officer is accused of murder in the death of Oscar Grant. Defense attorney Michael Rains, seeking to humanize his client, asked what he was voted “most” of in high school: Mehserle was voted “Most Huggable.”
June 24, 2010
Never before has a police officer been tried for murder for actions taken while on duty. The defense is taking the position that Oscar Grant was a threat and noncompliant and that BART Officer Johannes Mehserle thought he was tasing him but shot him by mistake. The trial is expected to wrap up soon.
June 23, 2010
One of the high emotional points of the case was when Jack Bryson Jr. described Oscar Grant’s final minutes. “Oscar was yelling, ‘I can’t breathe’ to Pirone, who is over 6 feet and was on the neck of Oscar Grant. Mehserle stood up and said, ‘Fuck this,’ and shot him.” Bryson then said both cops were demanding to see Grant’s arms from under his body, and a few seconds after he revealed his arms, he was murdered. If you’re in LA, attend the trial! The jury won’t know we care unless we’re there. And tell the media, especially the Black press and radio, to cover it!
June 19, 2010
Pirone did not remember many of the details of the morning of Jan. 1, 2009, and at other points he remembered things quite vividly. He denied knowledge of walking over and striking Grant. Pirone does remember that Grant kept trying to “wiggle” his head out from under his knee; but his answer to Stein’s question, “Did you ever hear Oscar Grant say he ‘couldn’t breathe?’” was no.
June 17, 2010
The job of the media is to hold the powerful accountable. To avoid hypocrisy, the media itself must be held accountable as well. In the past few days, KPFA has broadcast at least twice a brief announcement recorded by the interim general manager scolding Bay View associate editor JR Valrey for a passing mention in one of his Block Reports of KPFA’s former interim program manager, Sasha Lilley. The Bay View respectfully questions its timing and refutes its contentions.
June 17, 2010
Mehserle is not the only former officer whose actions that morning have been described as being out of line. All five of the previous week’s witnesses who video-recorded the events of Jan. 1, 2009, say they did so because of Pirone’s actions, which included cursing and an excessive use of force.