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JUSTICE 4 OSCAR MESSAGE AT GIANTS PLAYOFF GAME
Tonight a 40-foot banner with the message "Justice 4 Oscar Grant" (dot net) flew from the side of a sailboat viewable by tens of thousands of baseball fans at the Giants/Braves playoff game. At the start of the 9th inning, Todd Mehserle, brother of Johannes Mehserle, motored up next to the boat and drew up one of two banners he had flown at prior Giants games this season. In a press release this afternoon the group responsible put out the following statement about their message.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – OCTOBER 7TH, 2010
OAKLAND ORGANIZERS BRING MESSAGE TO GIANTS PLAYOFF GAME
WHO: A Team for Justice 4 Oscar Grant
WHAT: 40-FOOT BANNER, Justice 4 Oscar Grant
WHEN: Thursday, October 7, 2010, during Giants Playoff
WHERE: McCovey Cove/AT&T Park, SF
It is not without compassion for the pains of the Mehserle family that we chose to publicize an alternative message regarding the issue of “justice” as it relates to the murder of Oscar Grant. In response to the positive light given to Johannes Mehserle both in recent local media news stories and through the massive banner hung on his brothers' sailboat, we wish to present a similarly positive light for the victim of Mehserle’s crime, showing due respect for Oscar Grants family and their loss. As Johannes Mehserle was reportedly a good son, father, and brother, so was Oscar Grant, and so were many other victims of fatal police shootings within the last 3 months in California alone: Manuel Jamines, 37-years-old, of Los Angeles, Rita Elias, 31 years-old, of Modesto, James Rivera, 16 years-old, of Stockton, Fred Collins, 48 years-old, of Oakland and Michael Lee, 43 years-old, of San Francisco.
In light of these recent shootings by police officers we agree with Mehserle’s family that there is nothing terribly exceptional about his actions on the morning of 1/1/09 as a policeman in the line of duty, however we do not believe that makes them acceptable. Mehserles actions are indicative of a culture of police impunity. We want to see an end to police impunity, especially in cases of violence and murder. Relying on the courts for justice means relying on a dishonest system that demonizes some and exonerates others; “justice 4 Mehserle” must take into account above all justice for Oscar Grant.
Beyond jailing Mehserle, we seek a more comprehensive form of justice which would demand a disbanding or at the least disarming of BART police, the firing of officers complicit in the cover up of Oscar Grant’s murder, repealing or revising the CA Police Bill of Rights, to help put an end to the injustice that happens at the hands of police officers. In the meantime, however, we remain under the rule of the current system and seek justice within its parameters. While demanding the maximum sentencing for Mehserle’s crime would simply mean another person behind bars, police officers must be held accountable for violent actions just as civilians are.
MAXIMUM SENTENCING FOR MEHSERLE
DISARM BART POLICE
REPEAL THE CA POLICE BILL OF RIGHTS
JUSTICE 4 OSCAR GRANT