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LA Coalition for Justice Rises Up at First LA Mehserle Hearing, 1/8/10: photos and video

by dave id
Because the murder trial of Johannes Merserle was moved out of Alameda County to Los Angeles County, many of those who had already been working for police accountability in Los Angeles have stepped up in solidarity with Oakland activists who demonstrated throughout 2009. Community activists in LA have now come together as the Los Angeles Coalition for Justice for Oscar Grant. On January 8th, 2010, at Mehserle's first court hearing in Southern California, the LA Coalition joined with a Oaklanders who traveled south to let authorities know that the community is still watching and demanding a vigorous prosecution. About 100 people demonstrated in front of the court house, many arriving as early as 7am. These photos and the video below were taken before the LA Coalition press conference and before Mehserle's hearing began.
The scene inside and outside of the court room revealed just how disingenuous was the change of venue order by Alameda County Superior Court Judge Jacobson. Amongst the reasons offered for venue change by Mehserle's defense team and cited by the judge in his order -- besides a non-scientific and racist argument that African Americans in Alameda County could not be impartial jurors, based on a poll that included less than twenty African Americans -- was that media coverage and social justice activism in the Bay Area would interfere with a fair trail for Mehserle. Any reasonable person could have easily concluded that both would be present in any county the trial was moved to when the case represents the first time ever a police officer has been charged with murder for an on-duty shooting in the state of California. The rarity and magnitude of this trial is made all the more clear by the reported 1,000 people killed by police in California over the last ten years, 310 of whom died in Los Angeles alone -- every single one of which was determined to be justified by various police departments, district attorneys, and other authorities. A change of venue cannot hide this simple fact.

A report from inside the court room by community media activists will be forthcoming. The trial is currently set to begin in mid-May, with another hearing on February 19th.

January 12th: Demand Strong Civilian Oversight at Assembly Hearing on BART Police Oversight -

State Capital Building
Room 126
Sacramento, CA

January 13th: Anniversary of Mehserle's Arrest Fundraiser for O100 Holly Works and JR in West Oakland -

Black Dot Cafe
1195 Pine St.
Oakland, CA

January 17th: The next public meeting of the Los Angeles Coalition for Justice for Oscar Grant will be held at 5pm on Sunday.

Chuco's Youth Justice Center
1137 E. Redondo Blvd
Inglewood, CA
323- 235-4243

Jan 21st: The next meeting of the Oakland Assembly for Justice will be at 7pm in West Oakland.

Continental Club
1658 12th Street
Oakland, CA

February 19th: At the next LA hearing, Mehserle's defense attorney Michael Rains will argue to have Alameda DA's office removed from case and for a reduction in Mehserle's bail even though Mehserle made bail within weeks of being arrested for the murder of Oscar Grant.

Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Justice Center
Los Angeles County Superior Court Complex
210 West Temple St.
Los Angeles, CA

§Justice for Oscar Grant
by dave id
§RIP Oscar Grant: 1986-2009
by dave id
Copy the code below to embed this movie into a web page:
(video 2:05)

§LA Coalition press release
by dave id

WHO: Los Angeles Coalition for Justice for Oscar Grant
WHAT: Rally, Press Conference, and Oscar Grant Hearing
WHERE: 210 W. Temple Street; Criminal Justice Center
DATE: January 8, 2010
TIMELINE: Gathering Begins—7:00

Press Conference—8:00, Front Steps of Building/Flagpole
Hearing Begins—8:30, 9th Floor, Dept 104
CONTACT: Aidge Patterson, aidge [at], 323-304-5941
Elizabeth Venable, elziav [at], 951-640-7747

Los Angeles Protest and Press Conference: Justice for Oscar Grant and his Family

The Los Angeles Coalition for Oscar Grant will host a press conference
(8:00) and rally (7:00-10:00) for the first hearing for the trial of
former BART police Officer Johannes Mehserle, who brutally killed
Oscar Grant one year ago in Oakland. Speakers, attendees, and
participating groups include Wanda Johnson, Oscar Grant’s mother,
Oscar's uncle Cephus Johnson, Jack Bryson, father of two of Oscar's
friends, Keisha Brunston, the aunt of Deondre Brunston (killed by
police), Senora Porfiria Rivera, mother of Carlos Rivera (killed by
police), Oakland Assembly's Trial Committee, October 22nd Coalition,
The Black Riders Liberation Party, Homies Unidos, Coalition for
Community Control Over Police, Kabataang Maka-Bayan, AnakBayan LA,
Anti-Racist Action LA, Libros Revolucion, Los Angeles Copwatch,
Revolutionary Autonomous Communities, A New Way of Life Reentry
Project, and LA Indymedia.

Statement of Solidarity:
· We call for justice for the killing of Oscar Grant and all unarmed,
innocent civilians who are killed by police. We stand in support of
Oscar Grant’s family and Oakland communities.
· For justice to be served in the Oscar Grant case, we believe that
Johannes Mehserle needs to be found guilty of Murder (1st or 2nd
degree) and not a lesser charge such as manslaughter.
· We argue that the trial of Mehserle is about more than Oscar Grant.
Oscar Grant is one more stolen life in a nation where police brutality
and the expansion of the prison industrial complex run rampant without
accountability or transparency. We argue that criminal justice systems
constitute a system of governance that systematically oppresses people
of color and poor people.

Background: Johannes Mehserle, a former police officer for the Bay
Area Rapid Transit (BART) killed Oscar Grant III on January 1, 2009
while Grant was laying face down on the Fruitvale station platform as
Tony Pirone, another cop, had his knee on Oscar’s neck. The District
Attorney finally had Mehserle arrested and charged with murder after
days of rage and rebellion broke out in the streets of Oakland as
millions worldwide viewed the video of this brutal killing. Against
the opposition of family members and supporters of Justice for Oscar
Grant, a judge in Oakland moved the case to Los Angeles. The defense
attorney wrote that Mehserle could not get a fair trial in Alameda
County because too many people had seen the video of Mehserle shooting
Oscar Grant and therefore he could not find an “impartial” jury. We
intend to demonstrate that Los Angeles has no more sympathy for cops
who kill unarmed, innocent people than does Oakland.


§LA Coalition press release en español
by dave id

Quien: La Coalición de Los Angeles por la Justicia de Oscar Grant
QUÉ: Manifestación, Conferencia de Prensa, y Audiencia de Oscar Grant
DÓNDE: 210 W. Temple Street, Centro de Justicia Penal
FECHA: 8 de enero 2010
CRONOGRAMA: Inicia de Encuentro-7: 00
Conferencia de prensa-8: 00, Frente pasos de edificio/ polo de bandera
La audición comienza-8: 30, 9 Piso, Dpt. 104
CONTACTO: Aidge Patterson, aidge [at], 323-304-5941
Elizabeth Venable, elziav [at], 951-640-7747

Protesta y Conferencia de Prensa en Los Angeles: Justicia para Oscar Grant y su Familia

La Coalición de Los Angeles por Oscar Grant le sede una conferencia de prensa
(8:00) y manifestación (7:00-10:00) para la primera audiencia para el juicio de
el ex oficial de policía de BART Johannes Mehserle, que brutalmente asesino a
Oscar Grant hace un año en Oakland. Intervienen, los asistentes, y
los grupos participantes son Wanda Johnson, la madre de Oscar de Grant,
Tío Oscar Cephus Johnson, Jack Bryson, padre de dos de los Oscar
amigos, Keisha Brunston, la tía de Deondre Brunston (asesinado por
de la policía), la señora Porfiria Rivera, madre de Carlos Rivera (asesinado por
de la policía), Oakland Assembly's Trial Committee, October 22nd Coalition,
The Black Riders Liberation Party, Homies Unidos, Coalition for
Community Control Over Police, Kabataang Maka-Bayan, AnakBayan LA,
Anti-Racist Action LA, Libros Revolucion, Los Angeles Copwatch,
Revolutionary Autonomous Communities, A New Way of Life Reentry
Project, and LA Indymedia.

Declaración de Solidaridad:
· Pedimos justicia por el asesinato de Oscar Grant y todos los desarmados,
inocentes civiles quienes son asesinados por la policía. Estamos en apoyo de
la familia de Oscar Grant y de las comunidades de Oakland.
· Para que se haga justicia en el caso de Oscar Grant, creemos que
Johannes Mehserle debe ser declarado culpable de asesinato (1 o 2 grado) y no un cargo menor, como sustantivo.
· Sostenemos que el juicio de Mehserle es algo más que Oscar Grant.
Oscar Grant es una más de las vidas robadas en una nacion donde la brutalidad policial
y la ampliación de la prisión industrail complejo desenfrenada, sin
la rendición de cuentas o transparencia. Nosotros sostenemos que los sistemas de justicia penal
constituyen un sistema de gobierno que oprime sistemáticamente a la gente
de color y a los pobres.

Antecedentes: Johannes Mehserle, un ex oficial de policía de la Bay de
Area Rapid Transit (BART) mató a Oscar Grant III el 1 de Enero 2009
mientras que Grant fue puesto de boca abajo en el andén de la estación como
Tony Pirone, otro policía, tenía la rodilla en el cuello de Oscar. El Fiscal de Distrito
porfin mando que Mehserle fuera arrestado y acusado de asesinato después de
días de rabia y rebelión estalló en las calles de Oakland
millones en todo el mundo miraron el vídeo de este brutal asesinato. Contra
la oposición de los familiares y partidarios de Justicia para Oscar
Grant, un Juez traslado el caso de Oakland a Los Ángeles. La defensa
El abogado escribió que Mehserle no podía tener un juicio justo en la Alameda
porque mucha gente había visto el video donde Mehserle le dispara a Oscar Grant
y por lo tanto no podía encontrar un "imparcial" jurado. La intención de nosotros
es demostrar que Los Angeles no tiene más simpatía por los policies que
matan a gente desarmadas y inocente como en Oakland.

# # #

§more coverage from Friday in Los Angeles
by dave id

LA Coalition for Justice for Oscar Grant Press Conference, 1/8/09: photos and full audio

Oscar Grant Family Press Conference After Mehserle Hearing in Los Angeles, 1/8/09: photos

Locke High School Students in Watts Rally for Justice for Oscar Grant, 1/8/10: photos

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