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Add comment on:Town Hall for Justice on Change of Venue Motion File by Mehserle, 9/19/09: audio
Minister Keith Muhammad notes that family members of Brownie Polk and Oscar Grant are in attendance. He says that Johannes Mehserle defense attorney Michael Rains' motion for a change of venue for Mehserle's murder trial is not the end to the community's right of free speech. Rains quotes the Town Hall in the motion as if that's a bad thing but the Town Hall was right in what was said. He notes that while Rains' says African Americans can't be fair jurors that African Americans are often more fair in many ways. In the motion, the influence of activists is often overstated and what they do does not intimidate activists. "They want us to continue to be slaves," Minister Keith says and he adds that Rains' wants blacks to tap dance. The recounting of Oakland history in the motion, from immigration to the Black Panthers, is irrelevant to Mehserle's trial. Rains argues that police can't get a fair trial in Oakland, but the Oakland Riders were acquitted twice (although one fled and never faced trial). Minister Keith notes the very small sample used in the survey the motion points to as evidence of bias in Alameda County, yet they polled just 400 people in a country of 1.5 million. Rains says African Americans can't be fair, but African Americans have not had fairness in court in 400 years. Minister Keith tells those in attendance to not be afraid to speak their minds, as Rains does not own their mouths. Addressing a factual error (deliberate or not) in Rains' motion, Minister Keith points out that the Oakland Police Department Chief stated publicly twice that the Nation of Islam was never a part of the Chauncey Bailey investigation, but Rains plays up fake fears of the Nation of Islam. He adds that proper education is the basis of a democracy, not emotion, and speaking about the public record is not a crime. In the first piece of audio below, Reverend Humphreys opens the Town Hall and discusses how Michael Rains incorrectly linked the Nation of Islam with the murder of Chauncey Bailey in his motion for a change of venue (Yusuf Bey IV and Devaughndre Broussard of the now-defunct Your Black Muslim bakery are facing charges for the murder).
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