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Community Protest Will Greet Release of Johannes Mehserle
by Jonathan Nack
Thursday Jun 2nd, 2011 5:05 PM
Leaflet: Murder Mehserle Will Walk The Streets Soon

Press Conference Calls for Protest of Release of J. Mehserle
Fruitvale BART Station, Oakland, CA
June 1, 2011

Community Protest Will Greet Release of Johannes Mehserle

by Jonathan Nack June 2, 2011

OAKLAND, CA – A community protest has been called for the day that Johannes Mehserle is released from jail. Mehserle is the former BART police officer convicted of killing Oscar Grant, a young unarmed African American man, on New Years Day, 2009. [ http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2010/11/05/18663245.php ]

A press conference, held at the Frutivale BART station (Bay Area Rapid Transit) in Oakland, on Wednesday, June 1, put out a call to action on the day Mehserle is to be released.

The Coalition for Justice for Oscar Grant will hold two protests on that day. They will gather at Fruitvale BART (which activists now refer to as “Oscar Grant Station”) at 3:00 pm, and again at Broadway & 14th Street in downtown Oakland at 5:30 pm.

Mehserle's release could come any day, as he was sentenced to only two years and was given credit for time served prior to the conviction.

Mehserle was convicted only of involuntary manslaughter, despite the fact that he shot Oscar Grant in the back,at point blank range while Grant was being pinned face down on the station platform by another BART policeman; and despite video evidence which clearly showed the killing. Many people think the jury got the verdict wrong, and that it was a clear case of murder by an on duty uniformed police officer.

“This month Johannes Mehserle, the man who shot an killed unarmed Oscar Grant in the back, is going to be released and we are outraged. We are outraged not only at that injustice, but the injustice that continues daily on the streets of Oakland, “ said Cat Brooks, Co-chair of the Onyx Organizing Committee.

“On the day of his release, we are planning a massive protest. We will gather here [Fruitvale BART station] at three o'clock for another press conference, and then we will converge on 14th and Broadway to engage in acts of rage and protest against a system that continuously murders innocent people in the streets, not only in Oakland, but across the country,” said Brooks.

Rachel Jackson, of the New Years Movement, said, “not only was this case a miscarriage of justice, but it is setting a tone, and is creating and atmosphere where police officers, law enforcement, especially in California, feel that they can operate with impunity, and if they do get brought up on charges, they are essentially immune to prosecution. What Johannes Mehserle got was not only a slap on the wrist, he still did less than half of the two year sentence... and served his time in the L.A. County Jail - he never even went to prison.”

Mario Hankton, of the Coalition for Justice for Oscar Grant, pointed out that, “Incredibly less violent people with minor offenses are not allowed to continue their lives, obtain employment, and in some cases they're not even allowed to move [back] into their own neighborhoods. But in Oakland, law enforcement, that purports to be held to the highest standard of law, are allowed to be totally dismissive in the case of ultimate wrong doing, for example, ending somebody's life...they are hired back with pay and no additional requirements necessary, to continue abuses and profiling. How extreme a message is that? What better way to make a group of people feel targeted and criminalized? The absence of compassion for the family and community involved is sad, and it's very revealing.”

Cephus Johnson, Oscar Grant's uncle, said he was there, “showing the solidarity the family has with the community.” “We are extremely grateful that the community has stood with us again, has been to court with us, and utilizes their First Amendment right to speak to the injustice that they witness...and again showing their solidarity by calling this press conference, so that the world can know that we do not just stand here idly accepting … Johannes Mehserle being released after only serving seven months … Again, the criminal justice system has let us down,” said Johnson.

“We feel that Mehserle is a threat to not just the family, but the community ...We as a family see it as murder, and still believe it was murder, and therefore, will continue to say that it is murder … I am here showing the solidarity that we have, and the much love that we have, for the community in standing with us and speaking to this injustice,” concluded Johnson.

The father of two of Oscar Grant's friends who were with him that fatal night on the platform, Jack Bryson, said that through the trial, Mehserle was, “protected by Judge Perry, who looked after him as though he was his son, and looked at Oscar and these young men as though they were criminals, when Johannes Mehserle was the criminal. Once again the system proved that it doesn't work for men of color, but it works for Johannes Mehserle Until we identify the racism, we'll never be able to correct the system,” said Bryson.

Kim Rohrbach has counted at least nine killings of civilians by police in Oakland since Mehserle's sentencing last summer. “This is outrageous! We cannot continue having people - young Black and brown men - being slaughtered, while cops get away with impunity and continue to work,” she said.

Minister Keith Muhammad, of the Nation of Islam, said Johannes Mehserle had, “an opportunity when he engaged Oscar Grant and his friends to present peace, but what he, Tony Peroni, Marisol Dominici, and the other officers, brought to the platform that fateful night was war.”

Minister Muhammad further charged that Judge Perry, “intended to bring the least possible punishment to Johannes Mehserle, because he was the first and only officer in state history ever to be tried, and ever to be convicted, for an on duty shooting of anyone in this state.”

“We say to those who are activated, stay activated. Let no one say to you that what you're doing is not the right thing. They're saying to you the same thing they said to the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., when they wanted to know why he was coming to make trouble. They would declare, 'down in Mississippi, our Negroes are happy here.' Let's be clear, we are not happy here,” declared Minister Muhammad

Following the press conference, the coalition broke into two groups: one distributed leaflets about the upcoming protest on BART trains, while the other gave out leaflets and put up posters in the community.

In the two and a half years since the killing by Mehserle, protests calling for justice for Oscar Grant have been met with a huge police presence, heavy-handed police tactics, and mass arrests. [ http://media.causes.com/ribbon/835629 ]

On July 8, 2010, when the verdict of involuntary manslaughter was announced, the city had been griped for weeks in a climate of fear over allegedly “violent” protesters, “outside agitators”, and “anarchists.” Hundreds of police were deployed from around the Bay Area. Store fronts downtown were boarded. City government closed early that day, and Mayor Dellums advised all downtown businesses do the same, so that their employees could leave before the protest was scheduled to begin.

Despite the intimidating atmosphere, a thousand protesters gathered downtown and police responded again with mass arrests. Protesters subsequently charged that police had used illegal tactics. [ http://media.causes.com/ribbon/835629 ]

For more info., call the Coalition for Justice for Oscar Grant: (510) 575-9005
§Cat Brooks, Co-chair, Onyx Organizing Committee
by Jonathan Nack Thursday Jun 2nd, 2011 5:05 PM

“This month Johannes Mehserle, the man who shot an killed unarmed Oscar Grant in the back, is going to be released and we are outraged. We are outraged not only at that injustice, but the injustice that continues daily on the streets of Oakland..."
Press Conference Calls for Protest of Release of J. Mehserle
Fruitvale BART Station, Oakland, CA
June 1, 2011
Photo: Jonathan Nack
§Rachel Jackson, New Years Coalition
by Jonathan Nack Thursday Jun 2nd, 2011 5:05 PM

"What Johannes Mehserle got was not only a slap on the wrist, he still did less than half of the two year sentence... and served his time in the L.A. County Jail - he never even went to prison.”
Press Conference Calls for Protest of Release of J. Mehserle
Fruitvale BART Station, Oakland, CA
June 1, 2011
Photo: Jonathan Nack
§Mario Hankton, Coalition for Justice for Oscar Grant
by Jonathan Nack Thursday Jun 2nd, 2011 5:05 PM

"...in Oakland, law enforcement, that purports to be held to the highest standard of law, are allowed to be totally dismissive in the case of ultimate wrong doing, for example, ending somebody's life...they are hired back with pay and no additional requirements necessary, to continue abuses and profiling. How extreme a message is that?"
Press Conference Calls for Protest of Release of J. Mehserle
Fruitvale BART Station, Oakland, CA
June 1, 2011
Photo: Jonathan Nack
§Cephus Johnson, Oscar Grant's uncle
by Jonathan Nack Thursday Jun 2nd, 2011 5:05 PM

Speaking on behalf of Oscar Grant's family, he said, "I am here showing the solidarity that we have, and the much love that we have, for the community in standing with us and speaking to this injustice.”
Press Conference Calls for Protest of Release of J. Mehserle
Fruitvale BART Station, Oakland, CA
June 1, 2011
Photo: Jonathan Nack
§Jack Bryson
by Jonathan Nack Thursday Jun 2nd, 2011 5:05 PM

"Once again the system proved that it doesn't work for men of color, but it works for Johannes Mehserle Until we identify the racism, we'll never be able to correct the system.”
Press Conference Calls for Protest of Release of J. Mehserle
Fruitvale BART Station, Oakland, CA
June 1, 2011
Photo: Jonathan Nack
§Kim Rohrbach
by Jonathan Nack Thursday Jun 2nd, 2011 5:05 PM

"We cannot continue having people - young Black and brown men - being slaughtered, while cops get away with impunity and continue to work.”
Press Conference Calls for Protest of Release of J. Mehserle
Fruitvale BART Station, Oakland, CA
June 1, 2011
Photo: Jonathan Nack
§Minister Keith Muhammad, Nation of Islam
by Jonathan Nack Thursday Jun 2nd, 2011 5:05 PM

"We say to those who are activated, stay activated. Let no one say to you that what you're doing is not the right thing."
Press Conference Calls for Protest of Release of J. Mehserle
Fruitvale BART Station, Oakland, CA
June 1, 2011
Photo: Jonathan Nack
§Distributing leaflets on the BART train
by Jonathan Nack Thursday Jun 2nd, 2011 5:05 PM

Press Conference Calls for Protest of Release of J. Mehserle
BART train, Oakland, CA
June 1, 2011
Photo: Jonathan Nack
§Leafleting on International Blvd.
by Jonathan Nack Thursday Jun 2nd, 2011 5:05 PM

Press Conference Calls for Protest of Release of J. Mehserle
International Blvd., Oakland, CA
June 1, 2011
Photo: Jonathan Nack

Comments  (Hide Comments)

by Coalition for Justice for Oscar Grant
Tuesday Jun 7th, 2011 10:59 PM
3pm:
Gather at Oscar Grant Station (Fruitvale BART)
5:30pm:
Gather on 14th & Broadway
by Abolitionist
Wednesday Jun 8th, 2011 1:14 AM
The horror of police killings is obvious. Clearly, less obvious, is the horror of the expensive prison-punishment system. We have paid for Mehserle's existence while he sat in jail, receiving no treatment for his obvious mental illness. Meanwhile, as we read here, there are more police killings, BART police continue to exist, and BART police are now required to carry tasers, as well as guns in close quarters, on trains and at train stations, all paid for with our tax dollars. Mehserle committed a heinous crime, for which he should be rehabilitated. And when we get done with him, there are the bigger criminals running the US government, killing the people of the world. Do you want to pay for imprisoning all of them or do you want to finally get rid of the private profit system that makes possible all of this killing? If the latter, you have to organize a labor movement for a general strike. The reason the police killings and the prison punishment system exist is because there is no labor movement. Meanwhile, start demanding the abolition of prisons and all police departments, abolition of the death penalty and for legalization of all drugs. You cannot have it both ways. You cannot claim you want rehabilitation instead of prisons and then say you want to keep this murderer in prison for an indefinite time. Do you want to pay for life imprisonment of Mehserle? If so, you must be very rich. Let us know how long you want this murderer imprisoned and to where we can send you the bill. The rest of us are not paying for prisons with our tax dollars.

As to "justice" in this case, the taxpayers have paid about $1 million so far in a civil settlement, and will probably pay another $1 million. Yet, BART has not received the message that the BART police must be abolished.
by -A-
Wednesday Jun 8th, 2011 10:38 AM
BURN THIS RACIST SYSTEM DOWN!
by Curt
Wednesday Jun 8th, 2011 9:13 PM
Channel 7 reports Mehserle will be released on Monday.
by BAY AREA PEOPLE
Wednesday Jun 8th, 2011 10:42 PM
http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=115287888554806 GET ALL YOUR FRIENDS TO ATTEND THIS EVENT!

Must log on or create facebook account to access
by Ben
Tuesday Jun 14th, 2011 7:21 PM
This is a video for a song about Oscar Grant with footage of the shooting as well as protest afterwards