imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
Features
latest news
best of news
syndication
commentary


KILLRADIO

VozMob

ABCF LA

A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List

LAAMN List




IMC Network:

Original Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

Murdering Cop to Face Murder Charges… The Struggle Continues

by Reiko Redmonde Saturday, Jun. 20, 2009 at 1:51 PM

Six months after the killing of Oscar Grant, on June 4, Judge C. Don Clay ruled, after a preliminary hearing, that former Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) cop Johannes Mehserle will go to trial for murder. This ruling sets the stage, and new stakes, for the battle for justice for Oscar Grant. And the twists and turns of this case as it heads into trial need to be closely watched. People need to continue to speak out, resist and bring the truth about this murder, part of a nationwide epidemic of police murder, to the world.

In recent decades thousands of people have been killed by police. Men, women and children. The Department of Justice keeps a list of some of these, about 350 per year, all under the heading of “justifiable homicide.” The San Francisco Chronicle did some research and could find only 6 cases in the last 15 years where cops had been charged with murder for a killing committed while on duty. Of these six cases involving 13 police, most of the cops were acquitted, and none were convicted of murder. (“Ex-BART cop accused of murder in rare group,” 2/15/09.) In the case of Amadou Diallo, for example, the four cops who fired at him 41 times were acquitted of all charges.

In the majority of killings, the matter never even makes it into court. When a cop kills someone the stock phrase, of “he was going for his waistband” written in a report is often enough to rubber stamp the killing of an innocent civilian as “justifiable homicide,” and resolve an investigation.

Each police murder is a horrific event: the youngster shot in the back, a mentally ill woman shot while she waved a vegetable peeler (Cau Bich Tran, killed by the San Jose Police Department in 2003), the beatings, the chokeholds, and the electrocution-executions by cops wielding so-called “non-lethal” Taser guns.

Oscar Grant’s murder, seen from 5 different angles on video, was horrifying and quick. Oscar Grant and his friends had been celebrating New Year’s Eve, taking public transportation home because it was the “safe” thing to do. When their train pulled into the Fruitvale station the BART cops detained Oscar and his friends, on reports of a fight. The cops were cursing, waving Tasers around, pushing, beating and threatening them. Johannes Mehserle pushed Oscar to his stomach and shot him point blank in the back. The whole rampage lasted only several minutes.

Police murder happens every day. But THIS was a murder that many people protested in many different ways. First, at least 5 of the people on the packed train on New Year’s Eve saw the police cursing and shoving Oscar Grant and his friends and pulled out their cameras or cell phones to record the brutality. Three videos, surfacing one after another, played on TV and went viral on the Internet. People in Oakland and around the world began to demand justice for Oscar Grant. A memorial was set up outside the station where he was killed. Oscar’s family spoke out at his funeral where hundreds were in attendance. The politicians and preachers urged calm. But on January 7 Johannes Mehserle quit the BART police, and had still not even been arrested. And on that night there was a rebellion involving hundreds of people in downtown Oakland that lasted into the night.

As Revolution reported, “decades of pent-up anger at police brutality and outright murder, like the killing of Oscar—exploded onto the streets in righteous rebellion.” (Police Murder Sparks Rebellion in Oakland: People Demand Justice for Oscar Grant!, January 18, 2009)

The next night, a smaller crowd of 100 took the streets of downtown, with police helicopters once again hovering over the downtown area for hours, and there were more arrests. On Friday there were walkouts at Oakland High and other schools. On Monday a rowdy evening protest marched through downtown San Francisco, and there were more arrests. Amidst not only the aftershocks and echoes of the rebellion, but the unleashing of broad mass protests including people from different walks of life for justice for Oscar Grant, Johannes Mehserle was finally arrested in Nevada where he had fled, and he was initially charged with murder.

Of the six cops who were on the platform with Mehserle on January 1st, none have been fired from BART. And in their testimony at the hearing, these pigs said they had “no regrets” about their actions that night. One of them, Marysol Domenici stunned the courtroom as she described how she herself was mentally preparing to kill someone right after Oscar had been shot. And now Domenici and Jon Woffinden have, according to KGO News, been awarded a new assignment: tactical defense trainers for the whole department. The same cops who were part of a 2 1/2 minute rampage that ended in murder are now being assigned to train other officers in how it is done!

When people rose up in Oakland, they were going up against all that. People were acting with a basic understanding: “no more—enough is enough.” The slogans “we are all Oscar Grant” and “the whole damn system is guilty” resonated powerfully on the streets and throughout Oakland—and still do. This rebellion, although it involved only hundreds of people, was seen as being something with deep roots, something that could re-erupt again. And spread.

The system wants to sweep the murder of Oscar under the rug, and let its cops go free. But they also know that the spirit of those first days after Oscar’s murder, and the protests that followed still burns beneath the surface. The powers-that-be went into immediate overdrive to denounce the rebellion. The media called the people who took part “thugs” and targeted Revolution Books for upholding the rebellion. David, a teenage member of the Revolution Club was hit with felony charges, as were three others: including a journalist and a City College student. After the night of January 7, almost every protest against police brutality has been surrounded by hundreds of riot cops.

In March, when four cops were killed in Oakland the system immediately seized on this incident to unleash a counter-offensive to discredit people’s righteous anger and resistance against the murder of Oscar Grant and the larger epidemic it’s part of. A huge funeral was attended by 15,000 police, televised live in the Bay Area with eulogies for the “four fallen heroes” delivered by politicians. Barack Obama sent a letter expressing his sympathy, saying “We will always carry them in our hearts, and their legacy of service will inspire us as we work together toward a better Oakland, a better world.” No words of sympathy from Obama for Oscar Grant, though.

And California Attorney General Jerry Brown made fascist and pointed statements, calling the masses “urban terrorists.” And he targeted revolutionary activists when he promised to keep “in check” the “ideological opponents” who are “so fixed in their belief that the police are the problem.”

All this is why it is so important to defend those who were arrested on January 7 and are still facing charges. David, a member of the Bay Area Revolution Club, is one of four (and the only juvenile) charged with felonies. As a flyer for the Revolution Club put it, calling for people to attend a legal hearing in David’s case on Monday, June 15: “These same authorities and system, which continually carry out these violent outrages against oppressed people, are particularly singling out someone who brought to those involved in the righteous rebellion a clear understanding of the cause of these outrages—the system itself, and the way in which its oppressive nature is enforced, through brutality and murder—and the fact that the solution lies in building a revolutionary movement with the final goal of fully sweeping away this monstrous system.”

By charging David, as well as the others, with felonies in this case, the system is attacking everyone who is refusing to remain silent in the face of the murder of Oscar—and beyond that, everyone who dreams of a radically different world. Defending those facing charges is a crucial part of the overall battle for justice for Oscar Grant.

There will be twists and turns ahead in the struggle for justice for Oscar Grant. Mehserle is far from being convicted. In light of this, it is important to note that in ruling that Mehserle should stand trial for murder, Judge Clay said he agreed with the defense that the case came down to Mehserle’s “state of mind” when he shot his weapon, and said that to determine this, Mehserle would have to testify. Clay also said that while he thought they exaggerated, he did believe the officers’ claim that they thought Oscar Grant posed a threat—to the cops. In short, in binding Mehserle over for a murder trial, Judge Clay outlined key legal avenues that the defense could take which could lead to Mehserle being acquitted at trial.

Because of the struggle waged so far, there is a possibility of something happening that almost never happens under this system—that in this case, there could be some justice for a young Black man murdered by the police, and a murdering cop could go to jail on murder charges. There will be twists and turns and new things that people will have to learn and do—even to get justice for the murder of Oscar, let alone to put an end to the system and bring a radically different world into being.

As we wrote earlier in Revolution, “Powerful resistance can change the equation in society where too many people accept the unacceptable. It can give heart to those put under a constant death sentence by this verdict. It can call forth many more people to join in taking this on. And it can be a powerful force in building a revolutionary movement aimed at getting rid of this murderous system.” (“People Demand Justice for Oscar Grant!,” 1/19/09).

We Are All Oscar Grant! The Whole Damn System Is Guilty!

Fight The Power, And Transform The People, For Revolution.



Report this post as:

Local News

OUR HOUSE Grief Support Center Presents Night for Hope O30 5:38PM

Marshall Tuck’s racist dog whistle O27 5:01AM

Marshall Tuck’s ethnocentrism contradicts Californian values O27 4:32AM

Contra Costa-Hawkins O25 3:48AM

Debunking Some Anti-Prop 10 Propaganda O12 6:56AM

Why Should California Choose De Leon Over Feinstein? O10 9:55PM

Change Links September 2018 posted S02 10:22PM

More Scandals Rock Southern California Nuke Plant San Onofre A30 11:09PM

Site Outage Friday A30 3:49PM

Change Links August 2018 A14 1:56AM

Setback for Developer of SC Farm Land A12 11:09PM

More problems at Shutdown San Onofre Nuke J29 10:40PM

Change Links 2018 July posted J09 8:27PM

More Pix: "Families Belong Together," Pasadena J02 7:16PM

"Families Belong Together" March, Pasadena J02 7:08PM

Short Report on the Families Belong Together Protest in Los Angeles J30 11:26PM

Summer 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! J11 6:58AM

Watch the Debate: Excluded Candidates for Governor of California M31 5:20AM

Change Links June 2018 posted M28 7:41AM

The Montrose Peace Vigil at 12 Years M22 8:01PM

Unity Archive Project M21 9:42AM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

Allo, quelqu'un ? Allo, quelqu'une ? D09 9:16AM

deral Government Officials are not allowed to take leaflets nor pick up items in privste D09 4:15AM

Communist Mouthwash Hides Nature of Nations Suffering in Comm Pyramids Ploys D09 12:01AM

Atlanta: metro Pillage, Poison Gas, Pricks D08 9:13PM

Atlanta Metro Suffers Under Pillage, Shame lso Political Poison Gases D08 8:41PM

Fed Says College Students Have More Debt than Previous Generations D07 3:08PM

Paraphysique de l'insurrection et de l'émeute D07 9:55AM

Corruption of USA government D06 4:14AM

"We live in a time of radical counter-enlightenment" D04 1:45AM

Did Woolsey Fire Cause Radioactive Fallout? D03 10:26PM

G20 Discusses Preventing Financial Crisis and Small Island Economies N30 3:10PM

Driver near Campbell San Jose researches Bus Traffic from Northern Mexico N29 4:04AM

The Death of Small Businesses in Big Cities, Explained N28 3:43PM

Felons Shw Ninjasred Heavy Truck Tyres N28 2:28PM

Paraphysique de la consommation/pollution N28 8:08AM

Paraphysique de l'effet spectateur N26 11:13AM

Condominium, terrorisme du capital N24 8:52AM

Debt and Tax Policies Needed to Prevent Crisis Says Finance Watchdog Group N23 2:40PM

Independent Media Crackdown and Global Social Movements N22 9:45PM

Abécédaire du fascisme restreint et général N22 8:41AM

“Animaniacs in Concert!” Starring Voice Legend Rob Paulsen Heads to Portland, Oregon N20 8:39PM

Socialism in American English N20 12:04PM

Noske, noskisme réactualisé N20 11:29AM

Oprah Please Stop Selling Dead Animal Pieces N20 3:32AM

Down In Smoke SF N20 12:03AM

Lucifers Banker N18 7:38PM

Paraphysique du scientisme N18 9:19AM

USDA Withholds Names Of Turkey Companies Spreading Salmonella N17 7:51PM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy