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Oakland Says No Do-Overs for Johannes Mehserle, Press Conference, 10/6/10: PDF & video
On Wednesday, October 6th, community activists held a press conference at Oakland's City Hall to denounce Johannes Mehserle defense attorney Michael Rains' motion to request a new trial [attached below]. The Alameda County District Attorney's office has not yet filed a response. The motion will be heard at the scheduled November 5th sentencing hearing for Mehserle's involuntary manslaughter conviction for shooting an unarmed Oscar Grant in the back on January 1st, 2009.
For Immediate Release: October 4, 2010
OAKLAND SAYS NO DO-OVERS TO MEHSERLE!
WHO: ONYX, the General Assembly for Justice for Oscar Grant, the New Years Movement and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU). Additional speakers may include Jack Bryson, Cephus Johnson A.K.A. Uncle Bobby, Minister Keith Mohammad and others who have actively been working toward justice for Oscar Grant.
WHAT: Press Conference to denounce the announcement by the defense team for former BART officer Johannes Mehserle that they are seeking a retrial in the shooting death of unarmed Oscar Grant, III.
WHEN: Wednesday, October 6, 2010. 3:00 PM.
WHERE: Oakland City Hall, 1 Frank Ogawa Plaza, Oakland, CA 94612
WHY: The defense team for former BART Police Officer Johannes Mehserle has come forward with a request for a new trial in the shooting death of Oscar Grant, III. As the basis for this request – they are citing an unrelated and irrelevant case in Kentucky – and these cases couldn’t be further apart.
The case in Kentucky, that of a Michael McCarty, and Oscar’s case have nothing to do with one another. Michael McCarty was not beaten by the police, he was not shot while hand cuffed, the last words he heard were not racial slurs, and he was not killed.
At every junction in this case, there have been attempts by the defense to justify the actions of Mehserle and blame the victim for the crime of the perpetrator. And although Mehserle was convicted of mere involuntary manslaughter, the family of Oscar Grant – and indeed the community at large continues to believe he was murdered. To that end, rather than dying down with time, the passion and commitment of Oakland remain strong. The numbers of people organizing continues to grow and rather than sit on the sidelines, the community continues to plan events and execute strategies that keep the pressure and focus on Los Angeles – and the criminal justice system – for justice in this case.
This motion by Raines is simply another attempt by the defense to manipulate the facts of the case and allow Mehserle to go free for his crime. It is a slap in the face to Oscar, to his family, to his friends who witnessed his execution that night and to communities of color across the nation who are daily victims of police brutality and violence.
Mehserle's attorney seeking new trial
Labor & Community Rally for Oscar Grant
Frank Ogawa Plaza, 14th & Broadway, Oakland
Saturday, October 23rd, 2010