November 5: Killer Cop Mehserle Sentenced to Two Years in Prison

{This is the first post-sentencing story issued by FOX 2-KTVU, which has performed as the killer’s publicist, after the judge springs the killer with the smallest sentence he could give.  After the Grant family spoke out in outrage at the judge’s sentence, KTVU’s Rita Williams came back time and again to dismiss the family’s rage–continuing her promotion of this killer,  and her dehumanization of Oscar Grant and the Grant family.  We are waiting to hear the voices and the verdicts of the people.–ed]

1:22 pm PDT November 5, 2010

LOS ANGELES — A former BART police officer was sentenced to two years in prison Friday — but credited with nearly a year already served in jail — for the slaying for Oscar Grant III on a Bay Area transit system platform in January 2009.

In sentencing Grant, Judge Robert Perry also dismissed a defense motion for a new trial and tossed out a gun enhancement charge that could have added another four to 10 years to Johannes Mehserle’s sentence.

Mehserle’s involuntary manslaughter conviction had a sentencing range of two to four years. State law also allowed Perry consider granting Mehserle probation under unusual circumstances.

Perry credited Mehserle with time served — 292 days. So Mehserle would be serving a little over a year in prison. In issuing his decision, Perry recognized the community would be upset but said that he did his best and had “not asked for the case.” “Tensions ran high in the courtroom all morning long as a man was escorted out shortly after the motions debate began for an outburst. Perry told the jammed pack Los Angeles County Superior Court courtroom he would not tolerate any outbursts from the crowd. Continue reading

November 5 Mobilization: Justice for Oscar Grant!

[Friday, November 5, the day former BART police officer Johannes Mehserle will be sentenced for killing Oscar Grant III (after conviction for “involuntary manslaughter”) will bring the “Justice for Oscar Grant” Movement into the streets to remember and honor this 22-year old victim of police violence.  Oscar Grant was shot and killed in the back while laying on the ground, face down.  Millions wonder if a Black man killed by a policeman can ever win justice in America.  It is time to remember the details of the killing on January 1, 2009. And to note that no cop in American history has ever been tried and convicted for First Degree Murder.  What will it take to win justice?–Frontlines ed.]


Community Gathers in Response to Sentencing of Johannes Mehserle

(Oakland, CA)

WHAT: Rally and Gathering to honor Oscar Grant and Respond to the sentencing of Johannes Mehserle. Live Art, Spoken Word, Speakers, Music and an altar erected to honor the memory of Oscar.

WHEN: Friday, November 5, 2010.  Live Art from 2:00-4:00. Program from 4:00-7:00

WHERE: Oakland City Hall , 1 Frank Ogawa Plaza, Oakland , CA 94612 1

WHO: The ONYX Organizing Committee, the General Assembly for Justice for Oscar Grant and the New Years Movement

WHY: On Friday, November 5th, former BART police officer Johannes Mehserle will be sentenced for the shooting death of Oscar Grant, III.  Hundreds of concerned community members will gather together to respond to the sentencing and to honor Oscar.

“While many of us will undoubtedly be angry on that day, we will also take time out to honor the memory of Oscar Grant,” said Ann Weils, Attorney at Law. “Oscar ignited a movement across the entire nation and this movement will not stop with the sentencing of Johannes Mehserle.  We will continue to build and to organize until the State understands that we will not lie down silently as they murder the people in cold blood.” Continue reading

Justice for Oscar Grant: Activists Denounce KTVU’s Mehserle Interview

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.

Activists Denounce KTVU’s Mehserle Interview

By Shoshana Walter | | November 1, 2010

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!’

SF Chronicle: Oakland, BART police kill man near station

[The reader of this story will see that the journalist took a statement from the police, did not question any aspect of it, took no statements from other sources, and wrote it up as if it was the truth and the whole truth.  There will be no way to find out if this is an accurate or complete story until other voices are heard.

But if one assumes that the basic story given may be true, it still raises the question:  When wild animals or escaped zoo animals threaten others, they are often tranquilized, but not killed.  Is there no way that the police know how to stop someone ‘out of control’ than by having 5 officers pump bullets into him until dead?-ed.]

John Coté, Chronicle Staff Writer

Sunday, July 18, 2010

(07-17) 16:11 PDT OAKLAND — Oakland and BART police officers shot and killed a man Saturday morning near the Fruitvale BART Station when, authorities said, he charged the officers holding a knife in each hand after leading them on a chase for blocks.

Five officers opened fire on the man when he threatened an officer after police unsuccessfully tried to subdue him with a Taser stun gun, Oakland police Officer Jeff Thomason said.

“He had one knife in each hand and charged toward one of the officers,” Thomason said. “That’s when the other officers opened fire.” Continue reading

Oakland, CA: Once again, “troubling” responses to injustice are blamed on “outsiders”

[ABC TV reported, “Police blame most of the trouble on outside anarchists, who they say just wanted to create mayhem.”…..The citizens group COPWATCH, which is dedicated to observing police conduct, has pointed out the over 90% of Oakland police live outside Oakland; the “outsider” charge rings hollow, considering the source.


Oakland attorney Walter Riley

In response, Oakland attorney Walter Riley, (who was arrested by the Oakland Police while attending the protest after the Mehserle verdict) had this to say :]

The murder of Oscar Grant is a universal issue of justice and civil rights.

I do not like this divisive campaign to divide our community and protestors by calling people outsiders.  Oakland is not an isolated town in the desert.  This is a great metropolitan area with people from all over; with a world class university; we expect people from all over the map to participate in Oakland.  Calling people outsiders in this instance is a political attack on the movement.  The subtext is that the outsiders are white and not connected to Oakland.  From the days of the civil rights movement to now the outsider labeling failed to address the underlying problems for which people came together.

For those whose frustration with progress leads them to violent protest, we must engage in respectful political struggle.  I understand the frustration; I do not support destruction and looting as political protest.  I adamantly object to calling our youth and political activists outsiders.  I call upon everyone to push back against this tendency.

Walter Riley, Attorney at Law

Oakland, CA

Uncle of Oscar Grant rejects letter of apology from killer cop

Cephus Johnson, Oscar Grant's uncle

The Associated Press

OAKLAND, Calif.—The uncle of Oscar Grant, the unarmed man fatally shot by Johannes Mehserle, has harsh words to describe a letter of apology written by the former transit police officer.


Speaking outside Oakland’s True Vine Baptist church Saturday night, Cephus Johnson, rejected the letter released Friday terming it a “ploy.”Johnson said he and the Grant family didn’t believe the words in Mehserle’s handwritten note, claiming that it was nothing more than an attempt to gain sympathy from the judge before sentencing.


“He can write the letter after he spends 14 years in prison,” Johnson said.

Grant’s mother, Wanda Johnson, was also at the church Saturday, but declined to comment.

Meanwhile, Mehserle’s lawyer, Michael Rains, told the San Francisco Chronicle that he would seek a delay of several weeks in Mehserle’s Aug. 6 sentencing so that he would have more time to prepare. Continue reading

Oscar Grant Trial: Chronicle of a Riot Foretold


The OPD has a new "tip" line to report rebellious actions; this altered sign is a response

Bring the Ruckus

by George Ciccariello-Maher

OAKLAND–As the trial of former transit cop Johannes Mehserle for the murder of Oscar Grant rushes at breakneck speed toward its conclusion, spurred by the insistence of Judge Robert Perry and political imperative, ominous clouds of injustice begin to crowd the political horizon in anticipation of a verdict, which could come as soon as this week. But while it is this injustice that we should most fear, too many are focusing their fear and the fear of others on the possibility of a repeat of last year’s street rebellions should Mehserle be acquitted or convicted of a lesser charge.

What this view neglects is one basic fact, indeed the most basic fact regarding the Oakland rebellions: that it was only as a result of those rebellions of January 2009 and the fear that they might be repeated that Mehserle was even arrested and put on trial in the first place. Those rebellions were, in fact, the basic precondition for this limited form of “justice” to even be possible. Possible, yes, but far from guaranteed. And yet those who opposed the rebellions from the very beginning, denouncing them with delusions of “outside agitators” as irrational and desperate outbursts–in short, as “riots”–are busily trotting out the same discredited lines as always.

Different Trials, Different Verdicts

Of course, the relative brevity of the Mehserle trial should not fool us. While The People v. Johannes Mehserle has only been underway for a few short days, two other trials have been proceeding informally for 18 months now: The People v. The State and The State v. Oscar Grant. Continue reading