Friday, July 9, 2010

Bad verdict and a good protest gone bad

Yesterday former BART police officer Johannes Mehserle who murdered Oscar Grant in January of 2009 was found guilty of only involuntary manslaughter by jurors in a court in Los Angeles. The murder occurred in Oakland but the trial was moved to Los Angeles.

Last night several hundred or as many as a few thousand protesters met in downtown Oakland first for a peaceful gathering and then as night fell a sometimes violent protest. Although it is hard to tell if the violent people were actually protesters or just opportunists looking for a chance to loot and vandalize.

As of last night police had arrested approximately 100 people for various offenses at the night time protest. A Footlocker shoe store was vandalized and looted. A bank window was broken. A jewelry store was broken into. There were several fires set and police say someone was setting off M1000 fireworks. And at least one police vehicle was vandalized.

All-in-all it wasn't as bad as it could have been. The temperature last night was only in the 60's. If this had happened on the east coast with temps soaring into the high 90's things could have been a lot worse since more people would have been out on the street.

Although the verdict was not what most people wanted it was a step in the right direction. This is the first time that I can remember a police officer actually being found guilty of doing harm to a Black person. The former police officer was taken into custody right after the verdict was read. He will be sentenced in August and faces anything from probation up to four years in prison.

One more note. I typically criticize local TV news. So I think I need to give the local TV stations here their due for doing a good job of covering the Oscar Grant murder from the beginning and for their coverage yesterday and last night. The coverage was respectful and often insightful. And it was very helpful in understanding what was going on.


4 comments:

Moanerplicity said...

Truthfully, and it's sad to say, but since cops in this country have a LONG and tainted history of getting away with MURDERING Black & Brown Men, scott-free, I'm actually a little shocked that he was found 'guilty' on any charge, even a lesser one.


I hope there's a retrial and justice will really prevail.



One.

Val said...

@Lin

If there was a retrial on this charge it would only benefit the cop. He was acquitted of the more serious charges so in a retrial they would only consider the charge he was found guilty of.

But there is hope because the Feds announced they are looking into charging him. That might take a while though.

Beauty and Health Editor said...

Yes, well, it looks as though the police in America get away with everything. I just saw the video of them killing Oscar Grant, which just rendered me speechless holding my head in my hands.

I read today that a few police officers have been killed in the past few days in America.

Well, when the police continue to get away with murder and assaulting young people for no reason at all, it's unsurprising that people will eventually snap and take the law into their own hands.

I think there is only so much people can take of a corrupt and unjust system.

Val said...

@Beauty and Health Editor

And to make the situation worse, a group of White people held a protest in support of the cop here yesterday.

That really boggles my mind. I mean are they supporting murder? Or just the murder of Black people?

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Soldier Of Love

I've lost the use of my heart
But I'm still alive
Still looking for the life
The endless pool on the other side
It's a wild wild west
I'm doing my best

I'm at the borderline of my faith,
I'm at the hinterland of my devotion
In the frontline of this battle of mine
But I'm still alive

I'm a soldier of love.
Every day and night
I'm soldier of love
All the days of my life

I've been torn up inside (oh!)
I've been left behind (oh!)
So I ride
I have the will to survive

In the wild wild west,
Trying my hardest
Doing my best
To stay alive

I am love's soldier!

I wait for the sound
(oooh oohhh)

I know that love will come (that love will come)
Turn it all around

I'm a soldier of love (soldier of love)
Every day and night
I'm a soldier of love
All the days of my life

I am lost
But I don't doubt (oh!)
So I ride
I have the will to survive

In the wild wild west,
Trying my hardest
Doing my best
To stay alive

I am love's soldier!

I wait for the sound

I know that love will come
I know that love will come
Turn it all around

I'm a soldier of love
I'm a soldier

Still waiting for love to come
Turn it all around
(4x)

I'm a soldier of love
I'm a soldier

Still waiting for love to come
Turn it all around
(3x)

Still waiting for love to come

Miss Keri Baby!

Tracee!

Solange!

Solange!
The only interesting Knowles

un·for·get·ta·ble: Earning a permanent place in the memory; memorable: an unforgettable experience.

Alicia says...

Rest in Peace Mitrice

Rest in Peace Mitrice
Mitrice Richardson