FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WHO: Los Angeles Coalition for Justice for Oscar Grant
WHAT: Rally, Press Conference, and Oscar Grant Hearing
WHERE: 210 W. Temple Street; Criminal Justice Center
DATE: January 8, 2010
TIMELINE: Gathering Begins—7:00 am
Conference—8:00, Front Steps of Building/Flagpole
Hearing Begins—8:30, 9th Floor, Dept 104
CONTACT: Aidge Patterson, firstname.lastname@example.org
Elizabeth Venable, email@example.com
Los Angeles Protest and Press Conference: Justice for Oscar Grant and his Family
The Los Angeles Coalition for Oscar Grant will host a press conference (8:00) and rally (7:00-10:00) for the first hearing for the trial of former BART police Officer Johannes Mehserle, who brutally killed Oscar Grant one year ago in Oakland. Speakers, attendees, and participating groups include Wanda Johnson, Oscar Grant’s mother, Oscar's uncle Cephus Johnson, Jack Bryson, father of two of Oscar's friends, Keisha Brunston, the aunt of Deondre Brunston (killed by police), Senora Porfiria Rivera, mother of Carlos Rivera (killed by police), Oakland Assembly's
Trial Committee, October 22nd Coalition,
The Black Riders Liberation Party, Homies Unidos, Coalition for Community Control Over Police, Kabataang Maka-Bayan, AnakBayan LA, Anti-Racist Action LA, Libros Revolucion, Los Angeles Copwatch, Revolutionary Autonomous Communities, A New Way of Life Reentry
Project, and LA Indymedia.
Statement of Solidarity:
We call for justice for the killing of Oscar Grant and all unarmed, innocent civilians who are killed by police. We stand in support of Oscar Grant’s family and Oakland communities. ·
For justice to be served in the Oscar Grant case, we believe that Johannes Mehserle needs to be found guilty of Murder (1st or 2nd degree) and not a lesser charge such as manslaughter.
· We argue that the trial of Mehserle is about more than Oscar Grant. Oscar Grant is one more stolen life in a nation where police brutality and the expansion of the prison industrial complex run rampant without
accountability or transparency. We argue that criminal justice systems constitute a system of governance that systematically oppresses people of color and poor people.
Background: Johannes Mehserle, a former police officer for the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) killed Oscar Grant III on January 1, 2009 while Grant was laying face down on the Fruitvale station platform as Tony Pirone, another cop, had his knee on Oscar’s neck. The District Attorney finally had Mehserle arrested and charged with murder after days of rage and rebellion broke out in the streets of Oakland as
millions worldwide viewed the video of this brutal killing. Against the opposition of family members and supporters of Justice for Oscar Grant, a judge in Oakland moved the case to Los Angeles. The defense attorney wrote that Mehserle could not get a fair trial in Alameda County because too many people had seen the video of Mehserle shooting Oscar Grant and therefore he could not find an “impartial” jury. We intend to demonstrate that Los Angeles has no more sympathy for cops who kill unarmed, innocent people than does Oakland.