KTVU-FOX has been running a series of deceptive “humanizing” stories which aim to create sympathy for the cop Johannes Mehserle, who killed Oscar Grant on January 1, 2009. Mehserle is being sentenced Friday, November 5, for the crime of killing Oscar.
Protesters plan to stake out the offices of KTVU in Oakland until 5 p.m. Monday to denounce the television station’s “biased” coverage of Johannes Mehserle, the former BART police officer convicted of fatally shooting Oscar Grant III on New Year’s Day 2009.
The focus of the Coalition for Justice for Oscar Grant’s disdain is Mehserle’s first televised interview Thursday with KTVU reporter Rita Williams. Mehserle told Williams he wanted to do the interview to share his side of the story. “Over the last couple of years, I haven’t really had a chance to say anything. … I know for most people who don’t know me, I’ve been portrayed differently than who I actually am. This is more for the public to see who I am. I’m not asking any sympathy at all,” he said during the interview.
The group said they’d like Williams to be fired and also said they plan to file complaints with the Federal Communications Commission for the immediate suspension of KTVU’s license. The group released a statement from Rachel Jackson of the New Years Movement for Justice denouncing the Mehserle interview.
“Rita Williams’ recent ‘interview’ of Mehserle was not that of an authentic reporter, but a shockingly dishonest, untruthful PR stunt with the intention of creating a more sympathetic picture of Mehserle for his sentencing judge, Robert Perry, and KTVU’s viewers,” she said.
Monday, November 1 was the last day of politicking before the election. Candidate for California Governor Jerry Brown had gathered his supporters near KTVU2, the Oakland, California FOX station. After protesting at KTVU, the Justice for Oscar Grant movement brought that message to the Jerry Brown rally. “Following KTVU, many of us adjourned to a Jerry Brown/Get Out the Vote event taking place a couple of blocks away, also at Jack London Square. We dropped the KTVU Supports Killer Cops banner right in front of the media podium, much to the irritation of some belligerent dudes who seemed to think we had no right to do so and took it upon themselves to move us along. Some other belligerent dudes attempted to cover our banner with a big pro-Jerry Brown sign once we had moved to the sidelines…to which we responded with loud chants of ‘Justice for Oscar Grant!’”