Thursday, January 08, 2009

GAZA Oakland: Oscar Grant III

New Year's Day Murders
In New Orleans January 1, 2009 a young man was killed, 22 year old Adolph Grimes III,shot 14 times, 12 in the back, by undercover police, as he sat in his car waiting for his cousin to come out of his home so they could go bring in the New Year together. There was no conversation between the killers and their victim. The plainclothes officers just ambushed him and shot him dead. A few days later, the young man was vilified by newscasters and police spokespersons who said he had a high powered weapon in his car. The victim wasn't shooting it and in later reports it came out that a handgun in his possession was registered to him, but the rifle, wasn't disclosed until days later, which makes family and others believe it was planted. Police reports on the news made it seem as if Grimes was in the wrong and that the officers were attacked and the shooting was in self-defense. The idea was to blame him, blame the victim for his murder. And they have prejudiced public opinion to believe just that. Grimes was visiting family here after relocating to Houston after Hurricane Katrina. He as described as law abiding and a great father to his 18 month old child.

In the case of Oscar Grant III who was shot point blank by a BART policeman January 1in Oakland, the claim that he was threatening the officers, one of whom gunned him down, couldn't be made. There were witnesses too, just as there were in the case of the Rodney King beating. These witnesses saw the use of excessive force on a man clearly subdued: Oscar lying face down on the BART platform, cooperating with the arresting officers. These same witnesses also saw him killed. You can hear their alarm when he is shot. One person says the other officers looked at the killer with surprise. The question asked is why is the killer still free even if he is no longer working for BART? Couldn't he flee? What's to keep him here?(Watch the video:

But what is video footage or eyewitnesses? King's assailants walked, and so far Grant's killer is walking too, not charged, not even detained.

A week later, 1/7/2008 there was a community protest the afternoon following Grant's memorial, which led to many arrests. There are other protests planned, including one this evening.

On my radio show Friday, January 9, 8-10 AM the first half-hour, we will hear from Jahi and Tiyesha, who were both at the protest march January 7, and Tiyesha who was at the BART Board Hearing today, 1/8/2009. Jahi wrote a poem called B.A.R.T. following the protest yesterday evening.

Tiyesha wrote a letter, which I have pasted below which has information about the court hearing tomorrow at 2 p.m. for those arrested which everyone who is free tomorrow should attend and also information about the National Lawyers Guild which is providing legal support for those arrested. Share the information widely.

By Tiyesha Meroe

Last night I witnessed outrage, anger, grief and pain over the police killing of a "good dude" as my son said. Oscar was a butcher at my favorite market. He was a 22 year old black man who was executed by a 27 year old white policeman. If you haven’t seen the video, which is disturbing, you need to see it for yourself

People are rightfully angry – anger can be expressed in a million ways and some of those ways are not pretty. But we must not forget or dismiss the cause of the people's anger. It should anger everyone that the investigation has moved at a snail's pace, that Mehserle (the BART cop) was allowed to sit at home and resign rather than face questioning. Over a week later Mehserle has yet to answer a single question from any source. This is appalling, and there are no excuses for that.

It's been 8 days since Mehserle murdered Oscar Grant in cold blood which was captured on video tape for all the world to see. For every day that passes and justice has not been served the rage g rows like a boiling cauldron. On the day that Grant was laid to rest that big pot boiled over and the sight of angry people, mostly young black folks in the streets of Oakland was inevitable.

If Mehserle had been arrested and charged for murder within the week that passed between the killing and yesterday, then the rebellion would not have happened.

If the mayor, the DA and the BART police chief had treated this case with the same sense of urgency and seriousness that they would have if a private citizen were videotaped shooting a man in the back who was laying on the floor face down, then Mehserle would have been arrested on the spot.

People need to pressure the Alameda County DA every single day until an arrest is made.


This is about justice for the execution of a young Black worker, father and son.

Write and call the Alameda County District Attorney to demand that Mehserle be arrested and charged with murder. at 1225 Fallon Street # 900, Oakland, CA 94612, (510) 272-6222, (510) 271-5157 fax. You don’t have to live in Alameda county to voice your outrage.

Those who live here support those folks who were arrested -- go to the court date tomorrow January 9, 2009 at 2 p.m., room 107 in the Wiley W. Manuel Courthouse.

Call the Lawyers Guild at (415) 285-1011 if you have been arrested or know of those who have been arrested. Let's get together and focus our rage and anger toward the right targets not each other.


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