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by Raider Nation Collective ( raidernationcollective [at] gmail.com )
Thursday Jun 24th, 2010 6:31 PM
For Mehserle’s 2 short years we have 2 short words: FUCK THAT.

The most likely outcome of the trial of Johannes Mehserle, the BART
cop who murdered Oscar Grant on the morning of January 1st 2009, is a
manslaughter conviction. Why is this likely? Because convicting
Mehserle of manslaughter is the best way for the state to protect
itself by sacrificing one of its own. To the police, manslaughter
simply means: be careful when you kill. To the people, manslaughter
means: you got a conviction, what more do you want? Or in other words:
don’t riot, don’t rebel, no public outcry necessary.

On the other hand, a murder conviction would not be tolerated by the
police and their unions, and even the most opportunistic of political
leaders see a murder conviction as tying their hands in the future:
they need the police, and police need to be able to kill.

Not that it matters what the state or its leaders think about murder:
white supremacy and cop culture will ensure that Mehserle won’t get
what's coming to him. We have already seen both in the disgusting jury
selection process, which yielded a jury which includes three relatives
of police officers but not one single Black person. And Michael Rains
feeds on this, deploying an ingenious out-of-court strategy of
defaming Oscar Grant and manipulating public opinion by leaking
selective information to the press—a press which eats it up like an
organic delicacy.

And if Mehserle is convicted of manslaughter, the arguments being put
forward in his defense suggest that this will not even be “voluntary”
manslaughter. Rather, it will be “involuntary,” allegedly the result
of a tragic mistake of judgment, where a 9-pound Sig is mistaken for a
3-pound Taser.

Involuntary manslaughter in California carries a determinate sentence
ranging from 2 to four years. Mehserle’s race, his former profession,
the teary-eyed stories of his youth, and his lack of a criminal
record, will all be presented to guarantee the lowest possible
sentence (and we wouldn't want to guarantee that will even be as much
as 2 years).

2 short years for cold-blooded murder of Oscar Grant.

2 short years for permanently traumatizing Grant's friends who
witnessed the murder.

2 short years of taking one for the team and ensuring that the
genocidal system of policing and imprisonment in California can go
unchecked, unrestricted, unquestioned.

For Mehserle’s 2 short years we have 2 short words: FUCK THAT.

We fully expect and hope that Oakland will respond to a manslaughter
conviction as it would respond to an acquittal: with an expression of
creative rage that transforms our political landscape beyond all
possible recognition.

With love and rage, we’ll see you in the streets,