Oakland BART police killing: justice now!

08Jan09

Oakland protest From SF Chronicle: “A protest over the fatal shooting by a BART police officer of an unarmed man mushroomed into several hours of violence Wednesday night as demonstrators smashed storefronts and cars, set several cars ablaze and blocked streets in downtown Oakland. … “I sense your frustration,” [the Oakland mayor] told the crowd. “I understand that you’ve lost confidence in a process because you’ve seen what you believe is a homicide … But listen to me, we are a community of people. We are civilized people. We are a nation of laws. “I’m asking people to disperse,” the mayor said to the couple hundred people in the crowd. “Let’s leave in a spirit of peace.” … The BART police officer who shot an unarmed man to death on a station platform early on New Year’s Day quit the force Wednesday, avoiding an interview with police internal affairs investigators trying to get to the bottom of an incident that has prompted broad outrage. … Grant’s death has attracted attention well beyond the Bay Area, driven in part by the fact that the shooting was filmed by at least two cell phone video cameras. Footage has been widely aired on television stations. [ Here a video of the actual shooting, here more news , here a Thursday afternoon update and here another one ] .



7 Responses to “Oakland BART police killing: justice now!”

  1. 1 Drew

    My opinion and strong feeling is that although the cop unjustly killed another person, and the penalty for that should be extreme, it was not a purposeful act. Whatever the situation I don’t believe he stood there on the BART platform with all the other cops and all of the public surrounding him, and just decided to murder someone. In this case the victim happened to be a person of color.

  2. 2 Drew2

    Take a look at the riots and behavior of some of the fringe groups after this horrible accident. It’s no wonder cops react the way they do. There is such an outrage and defiance amoung some groups that they forget that they are compleled (and I admit I’m not sure what I’m talking about) to comply with orders from the Police. It is this scenario that I see causing situations like this. Young people of color are seemingly so defiant due to their feeling of racial injustice that they can from time to time behave in a manner refusing to comply with police orders. This man was on his stomach with his hands behind his back and a knee on his neck, but I’m left to wonder if might have been resisting…

  3. the larger, on-going racial struggle existing in oakland (and elsewhere in the US) is a long-term and difficult issue, of course, but episodes like this can only make it worse and further divide the various groups involved; the overwhelming evidence here say that a murder was committed – whether intentional or accidental needs to be assessed by judges and courts, but nevertheless a murder

    and if it were unintentional, why is the ex-bart officer still not talking and simply entering a “non guilty” plea? why the bart investigation was so slow and sloppy? why people cannot have the answer they deserve? and what about justice for grant’s family?

    two weeks after the fact and still no actual answers on the basic issues: probably no racial hate here, as in the rodney king’s case, and yes tragic mistakes happen – but how can any reasonable person not wonder about such unreasonable and cover-up scenario? as a civil society, shouldn’t we expect a much more accountable and responsible behavior from public officers and institutions?

  4. 4 Drew3

    It’s not racism. Rodney King was extremely high on a dangerous drug and driving 90 MPH through residential streets. He resisted and even after being beaten kept trying to get up and fight back. Even the amatuer video clearly shows that. The officers, albeit may very well have been overreacting (and should have been proceduced for that), were confronted with a person who was not complying with the orders of police. For the people by the people.

    The BART officer is not talking and only entering a “not guilty” plea because he is being accused of murder and his lawyers are telling him how to react. You would do the same.

    Just because the victim is a person of color does not make it a racist event. It’s not the color of the skin, it’s the content of the character.

  5. yes, as i said, most likely this case it’s not racism but it does not help in solving the racist problems in oakland – but, more important, if a public servant, a bart police officer does not talk to the community in the open after 15 days from the fact, then he gives way to suspicion that there’s something fishy or to hide, and again this silence is not helping in solving such racial tension or in calming people asking for justice in the streets

    no, i would not do the same, and neither would you, if you live in a civil society and if you believe in personal accountability and have respect for the community you’re serving, and want your children to do the same and be respected in their own life – specially if this was an accident of some sort, you should talk right away explaining what actually happened, no matter what lawyers say and what consequences at personal level, and you’d especially do it for your new-born child, as this seems to be the officer case – even if, of course, we must adhere to the principle ‘innocent until proven guilty’

  6. 6 Drew3

    Ok. Heard.

  7. actually, on a second thought i’m NOT so sure at all that racism didn’t play a role in this case – it’s something that grows up from reading more testimonies and (re)watching more videos and other resources available here: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Justice4Oscar_GRANT/


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