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Indybay FeatureRelated Categories: East Bay | Police State and Prisons | Racial Justice
Town Hall on Mehserle, BART, NOBLE, Meyers-Nave, & OPD's Jimenez, Oakland, 6/20/09: audio
At the June 20th Town Hall for Justice for Oscar Grant III, Minister Keith Muhammad touches on the historical nature of injustice for African descendants in America and then discusses the preliminary hearing and arraignment for Johannes Mehserle. He calls it "testilying" when every BART officer in court claimed they didn't hear gunfire when Oscar Grant was murdered. He mentions how offensive it is that Marysol Domenici is slated for a promotion to train other BART officers in crowd control techniques even after she had testilied that there was a mob on the platform on January first even after video evidence presented in court proved that was not true. The contradictory testimony of the officers was shown over and over again, as when they said Oscar Grant and his friends were threatening to the police but that if Oscar Grant had not been murdered then the BART police would have just released the group without even taking their names.
He talks about how corporate media such as the SF Chronicle and the Oakland tribune print 90% lies and 10% truth. For instance, neither paper had mentioned in their coverage of the preliminary hearing the racial epithets used by the BART police the night Oscar Grant was murdered, including Tony Pirone having called Oscar Grant a "bitch ass nigger" just 30 seconds before Johannes Mehserle shot Oscar Grant in the back.
Minister Keith Muhammad speaks about the Caravans for Justice and the fight against such unjust, vague, and racially biased laws as gang injunctions, or others that target youth such as Prop 21 which has resulted in increased numbers of teenagers being sent to state prisons where they are extremely unsafe.
He praises the recent firing of OPD officer Hector Jimenez who had killed Andrew Moppin and Jody Woodfox in two separate incidents.
He addresses the NOBLE "community forums" scheduled for June 22nd and 23rd, the development of police oversight at BART, and the investigation being conducted by Meyers-Nave looking into the events of January 1st. It comes up in the Town Hall that Meyers-Nave has been conducting their supposed investigation for two months but has yet to speak to a single one of Oscar Grant's friends who were on the platform that night.
Minister Keith Muhammad speaks about how the recall of Alameda DA Tom Orloff is on hold pending the results of the motion to move the Mehserle trial venue out of the county. If the prosecutor under Orloff does a poor job insisting the trial remain in Alameda, then the recall will proceed. If the prosecutor continues to do a forceful job prosecuting the case, the recall effort will remain on hold.
Several members of Oscar Grant's family speak about the issues important to them to conclude this week's Town Hall (audio below).
Pastor Gordon Humphreys of Olivet started the Town Hall by thanking everyone present for their commitment to justice over the long haul and then offered an opening prayer before Minister Keith Muhammad speaks in the first audio here:
Oakland police officer Hector Jimenez finally fired; he murdered both Moppin and Woodfox
Disappointing NOBLE Community Forum for BART Police Review, San Francisco, 6/22/09: audio
NOBLE Improves Their People Skills for 2nd Community Forum on BART Police, Oakland, 6/23/09: audio
BART Chooses Oversight Model & Ties Board's Hands with Supermajority, 6/15/09: pdf & audio
Town Hall for Justice for Oscar Grant, Oakland, 6/13/09: audio
Town Hall Meetings
Every Saturday 4pm - 6pm
Olivet Institutional Missionary Baptist Church
807 27th Ave, Oakland
Cephus "Uncle Bobby" Johnson announces the creation of a new DVD movie that highlights and humanizes the life of Oscar Grant III that the family intends to present at a Town Hall in the near future.
Wanda Johnson, Oscar Grant's mother, thanks attendees for their support and requests that the community continue to press for justice over the long haul. She expresses her desire to keep the trial of Johannes Mehserle in Alameda County.
Diana Marks, Oscar Grant's godmother, reads a passage from the bible, Proverbs 8, hoping it will bring a clarity to the movement for justice.
A separate request is made for public support to further empower citizen police oversight at the Public Safety Committee meeting in Oakland on June 23rd.
Another announcement is made regarding the struggle for long-overdue reparations for slavery in the United States.