Popular fury at yet another police murder in Oakland (ZNeT)

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martin dufresne
Popular fury at yet another police murder in Oakland (ZNeT)

(...) A New Year's Execution  

After responding to reports of "a fight" on a Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) train, BART police detained the train at the Fruitvale station, forcibly removing several young men from the train as dozens of bystanders watched. Several of the men, all young and mostly black, were lined up, seated, along the platform. Some were cuffed, Oscar Grant was not. As he was attempting to defuse the situation, BART police decided to detain him, placing him face-down on the platform, with one officer kneeling near his neck, and another straddling his legs. For some still unexplained reason, one officer, now identified as Johannes Mehserle stood up, pulled his gun, and fired a shot directly into Oscar Grant's back.


The bullet went through Grant's back, ricocheting off the platform and puncturing his lung. There are gasps from the bystanders and shock on the face of the other officers, who clearly didn't expect the shot to be fired. Grant, who was begging not to be Tasered at the time of the shot, clearly didn't expect it either. But this surprise notwithstanding, the decision was then made to cuff the young man as he lay dying. As an added precaution, BART police then sought immediately to confiscate all videophones held by the train passengers, in an effort to cover up the murder. Luckily for everyone but the BART P.D. and Mehserle, several videos managed to make it into the public domain, where they went viral and were viewed on Youtube hundreds of thousands of times in the following days. In a rare show of journalistic integrity, local Fox affiliate KTVU aired the videos in its entirety. (...)


Full story: Oakland's not for burning?, January 11, 2009, by George Ciccariello Maher  


They actually confiscated video cameras?  Then they should be adding theft and obstruction of justice to the murder charges.  And they should be charging every pig who tried to cover it up by stealing people's video phones with accessory after the fact.  Fuckers.



That's nothing new.  Someone's video of a police take down on Richmond street here in London had it taken away by police-- and returned with the memory "accidentally" erased.  If there was anything on it in the first place, according to police.  I guess the story was there was nothing in the camera, and if there was, it was accidentally erased.  And besides, video doesn't provide the whole context, and tell the whole truth.  Unless it's video the Crown presents as evidence, then it's beyond question.

 Similarly, a few years ago in L.A. a father and son were beaten by police at a gas station. A guy who filmed it and gave the film to the news had the unfortunate circumstance of also having some outstanding warrant for unpaid fines or something.

He slipped, repeatedly, it seems, down some stairs when the LAPD took him into custody.


martin dufresne

In Montreal, not only do police confiscate cellphones or video cameras noticed recording police violence but they raid newsrooms for footage of demos where they 'got out of hand'.

Cueball Cueball's picture

I find this scene so bizzarre. Is it actually possible that the officer in question thought he was reaching for a taser rather than a gun. It seems aweful blatant, unecessary and incautious?

By the way this story was posted elsewhere, already on this web site.

martin dufresne

Never saw it. Could there be a simpler, less idiosyncratic way of ordering themes and threads so that such duplications are easier to avoid? Yeah, I know, goes in "rabble reactions"...


Gaza - Let us hope the Knesset and Washington do the right thing.


There seems litte possibiltiy that Mehserle confused a taser with a gun (or any need to taser a man already face-down, restrained and not fighting). Anger from protests here (some really strong, good protests that go part way to make up for the complete silence from the shooter) has prompted murder charges, but Mehserle is pleading not guilty. 

The arrest warrant stated: "film shows Grant lying on his stomach a a BART officer holding Grant down with the officer's knee on Grant's head and neck area. Officer Mehserle is seen trying to pull Grant's right arm, which appeared to be underneath Grant's body. Suddenly, Officer Mehserle pulls out his service pistol and fires a single shot into the back of Grant." 

martin dufresne

This much resembles the 1995 bullet-in-the-back-of-the-neck execution of 23-yr old Martin Suazo in Montreal by arresting policeman Michel Garneau, who was never charged. Source


The way to do it is the same as on the old babble - search a couple of key words and see if there's a thread already.  (Except that the search engine here is better, I find.)  I just did it (just typed "Oakland" into the rabble search engine) and immediately came up with the other thread, which is here:


Closing this one.

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