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Oakland BART Police made news in the Bay Area shooting of Oscar Grant,on New Year's Eve inside the Fruitvale Bart Station.  Oscar Grant was apparently being subdued on the floor when police officers held him down and shot him. He died minutes later. Here's the video (GRAPHIC WARNING)


I don't usually pass along videos like this, because I can't stand to watch violence or death this explicitly. However Oscar Grant was a father of a four-year old baby girl and did I mention he was black?  
Everyone should see this video and understand that the officers involved are not facing any criminal charges right now.  Police should be more reluctant to pull out their fire-arm.  This is a classic example of a bad situation getting worse because a police officer didn't have good training or worse, he didn't care enough about the people he's protecting.
There are good cops, and this ain't one of them.
Thanks for the rec list, I did read a few other great posts about this as well.
UPDATE 2**************
Some have posted comments about whether or not Oscar Grant was in fact handcuffed at the time that the police officer shot him.  According to multiple witness reports he was already in plastic hand bindings. When the police roll him over, he is not bound and I am not sure as to when he was released by these bindings or if he was in the process of being bound when the police officer, stands up and fires.
This of course would change maybe the nature or severity of the charges against the officer.
What is obvious and should be ultimately stressed is that regardless, the officer responded with excessive, deadly force. One officer has his knee on top of Oscar Grant's neck while the other shoots him.  There is no amount of resistance that warrants a subdued suspect being shot or tazered, both are obviously potentially lethal in this case.
I would also stress that Oscar Grant was much smaller and in both weight and height than the arresting officers, one officer alone easily over-powered him.  He also had already been checked for weapons and drugs.

The police officer, Johannes Mehserle, 27, has gotten a lawyer and submitted a letter of resignation rather than answer questions at the Internal Affairs interview.
The officer also apparently released a statement
"Mehserle is described as "devastated" over the shooting, but has yet to give a statement to investigators. Johnson said the delay was caused when Mehserle's attorney showed up at the station within two hours of the shooting and invoked the officer's right to "retain counsel and not say anything."

Officer Mehserle was no rookie, he was a 2 year veteran.

It is not enough that the officer never work as a police officer again, he should face a court of law.

SF GATE has been following the story actively.
LAST UPDATE***********
I followed the postings here last night regarding the riots in my hometown, Oakland.  I originally posted the much commented diary with videos of the Oscar Grant shooting in Fruitvale BART.  
I was born and raised in East Oakland and witnessed many strange, bizarre, and just plain scary moments with police in my youth.  It wasn't until I finally met honest, decent cops that my faith was restored. There are many good cops out there who are people just like you and me.
Though I strongly support the message of protest, I can see no real lasting change from riots.
Riots do not make anybody listen, but they are signs of hopelessness and anger.
We are better to use anger not as bombs or fires, but as focused attacks that will truly bring justice and satisfaction.
Oakland Police Dept should have jurisdiction over BART police.
Bring Officer Mehserle to justice.  
It's real simple for us to do something MEANINGFUL about this.
Contact your public officials. (emails and contact below the fold)
Anyone, who has the means, should boycott BART until they bring criminal charges against Officer Mehserle and set up an independent investigator.
I'm not asking for convictions, I just want a fair trial by his peers.
Let your public officials know how you feel.
Contact Rep. Barbara Lee (510) 763-0370
Contact the Citizen Police Review Board 510.238.3159
Email Mayor Dellums ( and City Council member Ignacio De La Fuente (, Fruitvale is his district.  I'm working on BART contacts if you'd like to email.
Hit BART where it truly hurts them: the pocketbook.
I love public transit, so they better fix this soon.
You don't have to take BART, I rarely did when I lived in Oakland.  The AC transit goes from Oakland to downtown SF where you can transfer to MUNI. In the East Bay, AC Transit ain't great, but it'll get some places.  
What about organizing a car pool?  Could we get a few people with cars going across the bridge to offer people rides and vice versa?
If you can, please don't take BART for the next few days.
Anyone like the idea of a boycott?

Originally posted to LatinoDem on Wed Jan 07, 2009 at 08:31 AM PST.

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