Friday, January 9, 2009

Oakland riots over Oscar Grant.

On New Year's Day 22-year-old unarmed Oscar Grant was shot in the back and killed by BART police officer Johannes Mehserle while Grant was pinned down on his chest by other officers. Before being shot, Grant was somehow involved in a fight aboard a train and then dragged by officers onto the Fruitvale Station platform. The incident was captured by two separate witnesses on camera phones.

This Wednesday Officer Mehserle resigned from his position and now Alameda County District Attorney Tom Orloff says he needs two weeks to decide whether to file criminal charges against Mehserle.

The city of Oakland erupted in protests which later lead to rioting due to anger within the community over the incident and the lack of any immediate criminal action against the officer.

I do not condone the rioting in any way, but this is going to be really fucked up if no serious criminal action is taken against Officer Mehserle. This is reminding me all too much of the shooting in Queens of the unarmed Sean Bell on his wedding day where police shot Bell 50 times and later the officers were acquitted on all charges (reference this past Realness post). I really hope for the family of Oscar Grant as well as our country that horrible acts such as this aren't just allowed to slip through the cracks. Updates to follow, I'll keep you posted on new information in this horrible tragedy.

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