Thursday, January 8, 2009
Riots & Protest over deadly BART SHOOTINGS in Oakland
Riots broke out in Oakland, California last night following a peaceful protest over the senseless shooting of a black man by a white Bay Area police officer.
The officer, Johannes Mehserle, 27, quit the force yesterday rather than face questioning by the police internal review board investigating his shooting of 22-year-old Oscar Grant.
Routinely, police officers are required to face the board following incidents where deadly force is used. Mehserle’s attorney had asked the review board to postpone the questioning for a week but the board refused and scheduled the meeting for yesterday. Mehserle’s attorney and a union rep showed up without him and presented his resignation. The resignation was accepted and became effective immediately.
Here’s the problem: accidental shootings of blacks by police are rarely ever charged. The officer has not been arrested nor has he commented on the shooting which occurred in front of witnesses. By turning in his resignation he is not even required to give a statement.
Instead, he has been moved several times for his protection due to death threats.
It certainly doesn’t help the situation in Oakland to hear police investigators shrug off cell phone videos which clearly show Mehserle standing over the prone Grant and firing his service weapon into his back at close range.
Instead of swift justice, the police investigators offer excuses. The videos are grainy, they say. There are other mitigating factors to consider, they say.
The bullet from Mehserle’s sidearm passed through Grant’s body striking the concrete beneath him and ricocheting back into his upper torso, collapsing a lung. He died later at a local hospital. Grant leaves behind a 4-year-old daughter, a grieving family and a torn city left to wonder why.
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