tagged w/ Oscar Grant
Vigil for Oscar Grant on the 4 year anniversary of his murder
Hear the reaction from The Grant family attorney as well as Oscar Grants Uncle and a family friend during the press conference after the verdict of probation was given to Mehserle, the killer cop.Hear the reaction from The Grant family attorney as well as Oscar Grants Uncle and a... more
Activist Dineah Taha (left) of Oakland and Mary Polk-Sims, whose son was killed in a police-involved incident in 2009, comfort one another as people gather in front of Oakland City Hall on Friday after a judge sentenced former BART police officer Johannes Mehserle to two years in prison for the January 2009 death of Oscar Grant.
A bare minimum sentence of two years for the police killing of unarmed Oscar Grant falls short of fairness and justice. But it's no reason for the violent protests and vandalism that followed earlier stages in the polarizing case.
The prison term handed down by Judge Robert Perry in Los Angeles where the case was heard means that BART police Officer Johannes Mehserle may be out in a year after counting time already served in Jan. 1, 2009, shooting. The judge went with the lightest punishment possible on an involuntary manslaughter conviction and tossed out a verdict on gun use that would have added extra years.
Mehserle's action was a crime, more than an error in judgment or an accident. Still, the jury verdict in July fit the evidence presented in the case. Mehserle shot Grant, who was pinned down on a train platform and no threat to the officer, but there was no indication the officer meant to kill.
Mehserle's defense did stretch credibility. Worried that Grant was armed, the officer reached for his Taser stun gun and by mistake pulled his service weapon, which he used to shoot the detainee. This explanation took several days to emerge after the shooting, but it convinced the jury that Mehserle acted impulsively.
The power of this case - a white cop killing a young black man - led police to mobilize for trouble and merchants and offices to close early. It would be a shame if the case and the issues of fairness and justice were overshadowed by broken glass and street arrests.
Instead, the case should be remembered as an instance of poor judgment, inadequate training and a sentence that doesn't reflect a serious crime.
Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2010/11/05/EDP81G7PAN.DTL#ixzz14TCglJFbActivist Dineah Taha (left) of Oakland and Mary Polk-Sims, whose son was killed in a... more
A few months ago, a white police officer in a transit station in Oakland, CA killed a young African American named Oscar Grant. Many claim the involuntary manslaughter verdict was too lenient, but was it racist?A few months ago, a white police officer in a transit station in Oakland, CA killed a... more
We gathered in the heart of Oaksterdam, the epicenter of our country’s nationwide Marijuana Movement among a thick crowd of nearly a thousand peaceful demonstrators protesting the Johannes Mehserle verdict and mourning the loss of Oscar Grant’s life…when suddenly we feared for our own.We gathered in the heart of Oaksterdam, the epicenter of our country’s... more
California Transit Cop That Shot Handcuffed Faced Down Teeenager In The Back Found Guilty Of ManslaughterA white former transit police officer was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter on Thursday in the videotaped shooting death of an unarmed black man that triggered riots in Oakland, California last year.
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger joined civic leaders in Oakland and elsewhere in appealing for public restraint as police braced for the possibility of renewed violence sparked by the Los Angeles jury's verdict.
The panel of four men and eight women deliberated for about six hours over two days before reaching their decision, which indicated they essentially believed defense arguments that the shooting was a tragic accident rather than the intentional act of a rogue cop.
The defendant in the racially charged trial, Johannes Mehserle, 28, testified that he mistakenly drew his gun instead of his electric Taser and shot Oscar Grant, 22, while trying to subdue him during a New Year's Day 2009 confrontation.
But prosecutors, who sought a conviction for second-degree murder, said Mehserle had "lost all control" and shot Grant on purpose because he thought Grant was resisting arrest.
Jurors can render an involuntary manslaughter conviction if they believe the defendant lacked an intent to kill but engaged in conduct so grossly negligent that it amounts to a crime.
It generally carries a sentence of two to four years in prison, but the jury also accepted a sentencing "enhancement" for Mehserle's use of a handgun in the commission of a crime.
Mehserle, who had been free on $3 million bond, showed no reaction as the verdict was read and was immediately taken into custody. Sentencing was set for August 6.
Relatives of Grant, a young father who worked as a grocery store butcher, reacted with outrage.
"My son was murdered, and the law hasn't held the officer accountable the way he should be held accountable," his mother, Wanda Johnson shouted outside the Los Angeles courthouse.
The family's lawyer, John Burris, said that while "we do not accept the verdict," he called for a nonviolent response.
"One life lost is enough," Burris said.
Police in Oakland, across the Bay to the east of San Francisco, moved to a tactical alert status in preparation for potential civil disturbances.
"I encourage Californians to remain calm in light of the verdict and not to resort to violence," Schwarzenegger said, adding he had assured Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums that "we are well prepared to assist in maintaining order."
Demonstrations were planned in Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area, where many commuters left work early.
"I'm concerned about riots. I don't want to be hit by a bottle," said accountant Francisco Raygoza, 30, as he headed home. "Our office manager said leave as soon as you can."
In the first hours after the verdict, Oakland's streets were quiet, though some 200 people gathered at an intersection where a rally was planned.
"Its atrocious that a cop documented on video for killing a young man was not sentenced to murder. Justice was not done," said Naina Kanna, a 33-year-old community activist Oakland.
Anger over the slaying flared after video footage shot by onlookers and shown widely over the Internet and television appeared to show Grant lying face down on the train platform when he was shot in the back.
Mehserle was seen holstering his gun immediately afterward and putting his hands on his head as in disbelief.
The killing unleashed charges of police brutality and a night of civil unrest in Oakland, where demonstrators smashed store windows and set cars on fire. Police arrested over 100 people on charges of vandalism, unlawful assembly and assault.
The Alameda County Superior Court judge in the case, which was moved to Los Angeles because of heavy pretrial publicity in Oakland, ruled that the jury could not consider a first-degree murder charge. Judge Robert Perry held there was too little evidence to show the killing was premeditated.
Had he been convicted of second-degree murder, Mehserle faced a sentence of 15 years to life in prison. The jury could alternatively have found him guilty of voluntary manslaughter or acquitted him entirely.
(Additional reporting by Dan Whitcomb and Carolina Madrid in Los Angeles, Peter Henderson in Oakland and Alexandria Sage in San Francisco;A white former transit police officer was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter on... more
A police officer from Oakland CA was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter Thursday in the killing of an unarmed man. A video showed Johannes Mehserle pulling his gun and fatally shooting Oscar Grant in the back as another officer kneeled on him.
SINCE WHEN IS SHOOTING AN UNARMED MAN IN THE BACK WHILE HE IS LYING ON ON THE GROUND INVOLUNTARY!
Mehserle resigned his position a few days after the incident and fled to Nevada where he was arrested.
Mehserle is scheduled to be sentenced on August 6, and under California law, involuntary manslaughter normally carries a maximum sentence of up to four years in prison. The judge may add an additional time because a firearm was used in commission of a crime.
Mehserle deserves to spend the rest of his life behind bars for such a despicable crime. Cop or not... murder is murder.A police officer from Oakland CA was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter Thursday... more
Mayor Dellums' Press Conference on Mehserle Verdict
July 2, 2010-- Los Angeles
This Bay Area family travels to Los Angeles' Superior Courthouse to hold signs that demand justice for Oscar Grant, a 23-year old father who was shot by BART police officer, Johannes Mehserle January 1, 2009.
-- Ann Bassette
YouthOutlook.orgJuly 2, 2010-- Los Angeles This Bay Area family travels to Los Angeles'... more
July 2, 2010
Aidge Luke Patterson stands outside of Los Angeles' Courthouse waiting for the verdict as he hands out flyers demanding justice for Oscar Grant, a young man who was shot and killed by BART police officer, Johannes Mehserle.
-- Ann Bassette
aestheticscrew.comJuly 2, 2010 Aidge Luke Patterson stands outside of Los Angeles' Courthouse... more
Free Speech TV interviews hip-hop journalist and community activist Davey D on a number of topics, including the controversial death of Oscar Grant.Free Speech TV interviews hip-hop journalist and community activist Davey D on a... more
YO!TV talks with the Minister of Information JR about his documentary, Operation Small Axe, which touches on topics of police, Oscar Grant, and Lovelle Mixon in 2009.
www.youthoutlook.orgYO!TV talks with the Minister of Information JR about his documentary, Operation Small... more
YO!TV talks with the Minister of Information JR about his documentary, Operation Small Axe, which touches on topics of police, Oscar Grant, and Lovelle Mixon in 2009. www.youthoutlook.orgYO!TV talks with the Minister of Information JR about his documentary, Operation Small... more
Family members of Oscar Grant, the unarmed BART rider shot to death by a transit agency police officer early New Year's Day, filed a federal civil rights lawsuit Monday that seeks $50 million from the agency, its chief of police and three officers.
John Burris, an attorney for the family, had asked for $25 million in a legal claim against BART after Officer Johannes Mehserle shot Grant on the platform of the Fruitvale Station in Oakland.
Grant, 22, of Hayward, and several other young men had been pulled off a Dublin-Pleasanton train by police investigating reports of a fight. He was face-down on the station platform when he was shot, an incident that several passengers recorded on cell-phone cameras.
Mehserle, 27, quit the BART force Jan. 7 and was subsequently charged with murder. His attorney said Mehserle had meant to fire his Taser when he fired a single shot with his pistol.
Burris said Monday that the actions by Mehserle and by BART Officer Tony Pirone, who first detained Grant and five of his friends in the aftermath of the fight, were "more egregious than I initially thought."
The lawsuit Burris filed in U.S. District Court in Oakland on the Grant family's behalf also named Pirone's partner, Marysol Domenici, and Police Chief Gary Gee. The attorney suggested that racism had played a role in Grant's detention and death, an accusation that a lawyer for BART said is not supported by evidence.
Burris wrote that an unidentified officer "directed a racial slur at one of the young men" after they were detained. Grant was African American, and the other detained men were black and Latino, Burris said in the suit.
Dale Allen, an attorney representing BART and the officers in civil court, said Monday that Grant's death was "a tragic accident," citing Mehserle's explanation about trying to fire his Taser.
"BART has been discussing mediation with Mr. Burris in an attempt to bring closure to the Grant family, and will continue to do so," Allen said.
Allen said evidence in the case will show that Grant and his friends "had been identified as having been involved in an altercation on the train" and that officers had properly detained them. He said racism was not a factor in the case and that officers had uttered "absolutely no racial slurs."
Burris said Pirone struck Grant without good reason minutes before Grant was shot, and that Domenici threatened to "tase" the young men in the face. Pirone's attorney, Bill Rapoport, has said Grant provoked Pirone's blow by trying to knee the officer in the groin.
Burris filed the lawsuit on behalf of Grant's mother, Wanda Johnson, as well as Sophina Mesa, who was Grant's girlfriend and is raising the couple's 4-year-old daughter.
BART spokesman Linton Johnson said Monday that a criminal investigation into the actions of Pirone and the other officers on the platform will soon be turned over to Alameda County prosecutors for a decision on possible charges.Family members of Oscar Grant, the unarmed BART rider shot to death by a transit... more
Watching Governor Schwarzenegger's State of the State address was like watching the father-of-the-bride give a wedding toast when he and everyone else in the room knows the marriage is doomed.Watching Governor Schwarzenegger's State of the State address was like watching... more
A demonstration outside Oakland City Hall to protest a shooting of an unarmed man in the back by a transit police officer ended violently after a group began damaging businesses and cars.
Hundreds of people gathered at City Hall on Wednesday and marched to the Alameda County Courthouse, shouting, "We will march, we will chant, until there's justice for Oscar Grant!" and "I am Oscar Grant!" Organizers also called for the resignation of county Dist. Atty. Tom Orloff, doubting his ability to successfully prosecute accused police officers. Police in riot gear were out in force.
The shooting of Oscar Grant, a 22-year-old African American, by a 27-year-old white officer who recently resigned also sparked a protest a week ago that ended in more than 100 arrests and scores of damaged buildings and torched cars in downtown Oakland.
Addressing the group on Oak Street between the courthouse and the county administration building, Grant's grandfather rejoiced that "they got the man who killed my grandson." Oscar Grant Sr. also beseeched the crowd to "keep peace."A demonstration outside Oakland City Hall to protest a shooting of an unarmed man in... more
San Francisco Chronicle Reports Arrest of Ex-BART Police Officer for murder of Oscar Grant. Press conference later today.San Francisco Chronicle Reports Arrest of Ex-BART Police Officer for murder of Oscar... more