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Fri Jul 2 2010 (Updated 03/15/13)Jury Deliberations Have Begun, Mehserle Verdict Date Unknown
Fri Jul 2 2010 (Updated 03/15/13)Oakland, Bay Area, and Los Angeles Anxiously Await Decision in Historic Trial of Officer
UPDATE Thursday, July 8th, 2:50pm: The verdict is expected at 4pm today. For further updates, see the next related Indybay feature.
For weeks, as the trial of BART police officer Johannes Mehserle for the murder of Oscar Grant has progressed, city leaders have been stirring up fears of "outside agitators" bringing trouble to Oakland should Mehserle be acquitted or found guilty of a lesser charge of manslaughter rather than the maximum now available, second degree murder. Corporate television stations have been running near daily coverage of Oakland police preparing to quell riots, while local non-profits have been disseminating talking points geared toward "inoculating" Oakland youth.
The Oakland General Assembly for Justice for Oscar Grant held a press conference on July 1st to forcefully assert the people's right to gather publicly on the day of the verdict in Johannes Mehserle's trial for the murder of Oscar Grant and to confront the distractions and misinformation currently being spread across the city by the Mayor's office, the Oakland police department, and local non-profit organizations. Speakers reiterated that the focus now and on the day of the verdict should be on justice for Oscar Grant and all victims of police violence, not potential property destruction should Mehserle be convicted of something less than second degree murder or acquitted all together. As Karissa Shaw made plain, "Everybody's talking about peace and we're still waiting on our justice."
A second press conference in less than a week, on July 6th, after it was learned that Councilmember Desley Brooks was heading up organizing a counter-event at the same time and place as the community gathering set for the day the verdict in the Mehserle murder trial was announced, 6pm at 14th and Broadway. It was obvious that the purpose for the city-led event, although not officially sponsored by the City of Oakland, was to undermine the community gathering that had been called for as early as late May before the trial of Johannes Mehserle even began. Addressing those fretting about civil unrest, Michael Walker, aka Ghetto Prophet, concluded the press conference by declaring: "For anybody out there who feels like people are against peace, if you really want peace in this city, then fight for justice, and I guarantee you'll have peace."
The date of the verdict announcement is unknown. Even though the jury received the case on July 1st, the first full day of deliberations is July 8th.
Before you go out in the streets for any reason after the verdict, write the National Lawyers Guild's Bay Area hotline number on your arm: (415) 285-1011. The NLG will be documenting police abuses in the streets and providing legal support throughout.
Day of Verdict Community Gathering Announcements:
OAKLAND — 6pm, 14th and Broadway: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7
FRESNO — 6pm, Fresno and C
LOS ANGELES — before 5pm, at court house; after 5pm, Liemert Park
SAN DIEGO — 12pm at Central Courthouse, 6pm at the Armory
PORTLAND — 9pm, Peninsula Park
PALO ALTO — 5:00PM
July 1st Press Conference: Video & Photos | Photos & Report | Announcement
July 6st Press Conference: Video & Photos | Announcement
New Songs: Unity, RasCeylon, SinistaZ: OPERATION VERDICT | G-WETT, SLEEPY-D - Lovelle Mixon | Native Guns: "Handcuffs" | new Revolt Rap | Raging Grannies Song for Oscar Grant
See Also: Oscar Grant Solidarity Demo - Indiana | Mehserle - Most Huggable? or a chip off of ol Jim Crow? | "Black youth too stupid to be angry", says mayor, local nonprofits | Interview on Oscar Grant, nonprofits & the state with George Ciccariello-Maher and Dave Id | Too Late for Justice in the Mehserle Trial | To all the anarchist haters | Town Hall on Justice for Oscar Grant and Community Gathering at 14th & Broadway, 7/3/10 | Legal Lynching in America, with Liliana Segura & Jack Bryson, Oakland, 7/1/10 | Looking at the Mehserle trial from New York | Politics makes strange bedfellows | The Infamous "Violence Is Not Justice" PSA | Oakland Transforms as it Prepares for Street Rebellions | A Short Statement: NO JUSTICE, NO PEACE | For All Who Fight For Justice! - "I could care less where we're from." | An Open Letter to Those Who Criticize and Attack | Justice or Just Us? Beyond the Hype of the Mehserle Trial | A Friendly and Open Letter to East Bay Clergy, Non-Profit Executives, and Elected Official | Lessons Never Learned: Nonprofits and the State, Redux | Join a Speak-Out or Make Music to Express Yourself If a "Not Guilty" Verdict Comes Down | Message to the Community Regarding the Upcoming Oscar Grant Verdict | To Everybody Coming Out to 14th and Broadway on Verdict Day | Racism Fuels the Possibility of Acquittal and Rebellion : Chronicle of a Riot Foretold | What the cops are planning | Update: Next Non-Profit Dellums Police Collaboration Meeting | Non-profits and Mayor Dellum's Office meet to prevent "violence" from Mehserle verdict
If you plan to attend a verdict-related event anywhere in the state, publish your own video, photos, and/or reports about your experience to Indybay. The Importance of Radical Activists and Journalists Utilizing Indymedia
Previous Related Indybay Feature: Historic Mehserle Trial for Murder of Oscar Grant Underway in L.A.
Full coverage of the Justice for Oscar Grant movement