Friday, July 9, 2010

This Is Murder

There is no way one can watch this video and not see the obvious: the police murdered an unarmed man. At apprx. 1:13 in the victim, Oscar Grant, is sitting against the wall. Within 20 seconds, he is shoved to the ground and lay on his stomach. By 2:00 in, the police had shot him in the back. Mr. Grant was unarmed, was by all accounts an innocent bystander, and did not deserve to be shot in the back.

The police officer who shot Mr. Grant, Johannes Mehserl, was convicted of the minor charge of involuntary manslaughter. He claimed he intended to reach for his taser, but accidentally grabbed his gun instead. Despite the fact that the gun and taser were on opposite sides of the officer's belt, and despite the fact that Mr. Grant was lying on the ground on his stomach, an all-white jury in Southern California (despite the fact that the crime occurred in Oakland) went with the officer's version of events and convicted on the lesser charge.

I don't support rioting, but I certainly understand why people in Oakland are disgusted with the police and disgusted by the fact that an unarmed black man being shot by a white police officer is considered a minor offense. The officer is guilty of second degree murder, anyone can see that.

Attorney General Eric Holder should definitely investigate this case. Clearly the local justice system in Southern California still views killing unarmed African-Americans as something to take lightly.

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