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Jan. 1, 2019, marks 10 years since the murder of Oscar Grant by BART police officer Johannes Mehserle. In the lead up to this grim anniversary, a number of articles, multimedia pieces, radio programs and television news segments have been produced to commemorate the occasion. Especially moving are those that give voice to Oscar’s family and friends. But it’s rare to see significant tribute paid to the fact that were it not for the vigor and relentlessness of protesters and activists, Oscar Grant would have received little to no justice.
F.A.B. is the voice of the streets, the voice of the voiceless. F.A.B. is the embodiment of the struggle of young Black men growing up in the raw, merciless streets of post-industrial Oakland, California. He is still a young man. However, in these latter years, F.A.B. has used his voice to offer direction, encouragement and advice to young people desiring to stand on the peak of hip-hop stardom next to him. As he grows into O.G. status, that voice of wisdom becomes more pronounced.
Oscar Grant’s Uncle Bobby, aka Cephus Johnson, speaks about the recent police execution of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge and Phil Castile in Minneapolis. We talk about the role of new media in exposing these two cases. He also discusses Obama’s response to the police executions of Black and Brown people and his inaction. We also discuss the Dallas sniper killing a number of police officers last night in response to the rampant police terrorism plaguing the Black communities of the U.S.
The father of Oscar Grant III, whose shocking death at the hands of a transit police officer was memorialized in the award-winning film “Fruitvale Station” was denied damages yesterday by a federal jury. The jury found that the father – who had been in prison all of his son’s life – failed to show he had a close familial relationship with his son and failed to prove the officer intentionally harmed his son for reasons “unrelated to legitimate law-enforcement objectives.”
As a Black woman, to hear Ron Thomas declare, “What this means is that all of us need to be very afraid now … Police officers everywhere can beat us, kill us, do whatever they want because it was proven here today they can get away with it,” I automatically want to ask him where has he been?
I was armed when I entered the darkened studio room on Yosemite in San Francisco’s Bayview District where Zaccho Dance Theatre resides. When I opened the black curtain and stepped into the darkened room, I stood still for a moment to let my eyes adjust and noticed chairs where a few patrons sat. I decided to wander through the huge open space.
Who could forget the murder of Oscar Grant by BART policeman Johannes Mehserle on a platform on Jan. 1, 2009. That murder, caught by other BART passengers on video that quickly went viral, sparked a movement for justice that led to the first conviction of a killer cop in California history. Because of the work of the Oscar Grant Foundation, an award-winning movie is telling Oscar’s story. It’s called “Fruitvale Station.”
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.
Supporters of killer cop Johannes Mehserle rallied in San Jose Aug. 2 with no counter-demonstrators. KTVU was there and last week presented two features on Mehserle’s life story, presumably intended to soften his public image and engender sympathy for him as the Nov. 5 sentencing date approaches. Justice for Oscar Grant supporters will protest in the parking lot outside KTVU on Thursday, Aug. 12, 12:30 p.m., at 2 Jack London Square, Oakland. Be there to honor Black August! And Oscar Grant supporters are asked to demand the maximum sentence for Mehserle.
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.
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.”
“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.
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.”
On New Year's morning BART police officer Johannes Mehserle fired his gun at point blank range into Oscar Grant's back, killing him as he lay face down on the train platform, hands behind him. A preliminary hearing is now underway to determine whether Mehserle will be charged with murder or whether the charges against him will be lowered.