Sunday, November 07, 2010

Oakland Riots After Mehserle Sentencing; Family To File DOJ Complaint

Joshua's Army members may recall a piece I did back in July on the Johannes Mehserle case in Oakland.

To briefly recap, Oscar Grant was coming home on the BART after celebrating the New Year and participated in a violent altercation at the West Oakland BART Station involving a dozen people who were described as being violent, "hammered and stoned" by the BART personnel who called for the police.

Grant was one of a number of people suspected of fighting, taken off the train and detained on the platform. Apparently the other passengers on the train contributed to the chaotic atmosphere, screaming and cursing at the cops as they attempted to subdue Grant and the others.

Grant at that point had not been handcuffed yet, nor had he been searched for weapons. Mehserle was part of a contingent of back up officers who were called.

One of the original cops on the scene, Officer Tony Pirone had already been assaulted by Grant, and another officer, Marysol Dominici, had been struck by Grant when she tried to handcuff one of Grant's friends.

Pirone told Mehserle to place Grant under arrest, and when Grant found out he was going to be arrested,he began violently resisting. It's easy to see why, especially given his impaired condition. Grant was a two time loser, once for drug dealing and a second time for fleeing a traffic stop while armed with a loaded pistol and resisting arrest. Given California's Three Strike law, another felony bust would have put Grant away for life.So he fought violently to keep from being taken in.

When the officers were unable to subdue Grant, Mehserle told Pirone "I can't get his arms, he keeps going for his waistband, I'm going to tase him."

Other witnesses at the scene admitted hearing Mehserle say he was going to taser Grant. Instead, he pulled out his service revolver and shot him, fatally.

The entire scene was captured on video and both the videos and witnesses say Mehserle reacted with shock, said "Oh my god!" several times after the shooting, and put his hands to his head.

Mehserle's defense was that he mistook his revolver for the gun-shaped taser.

The case caused a great deal of outrage in Oakland so the trial was moved to Los Angeles where he Oakland prosecutor, District Attorney Tom Orloff filed a politically motivated complaint for murder one.

Los Angeles County Judge Robert J. Perry looked at the case and told the Oakland DA that the murder charge was legally inappropriate. He instructed the jury that in their deliberations, they had four options; acquittal, second-degree murder (15 to life), voluntary manslaughter (3 to 11 ), or involuntary manslaughter (2 or 4 years).

What the jury did was to find Johannes Mehserle guilty of involuntary manslaughter. But they also came up with a curious 'enhancement' sentence for using a gun that could have added three to ten years to his prison sentence, made him ineligible for probation, and force him to serve 85 percent of his sentence.

That wasn't really sufficient either for the folks back in Oakland,who used it as an excuse for an orgy of rioting and looting.

Mehserle's lawyers argued to Judge Perry during the sentencing part of the trial that the 'enhancement' addition was illegal. The 'enhancement' add-on was enacted into law to punish felons using a firearm in the commission of a crime, and levying it against a peace officer in these kind of circumstances is unprecedented.

Perry agreed, and sentenced Mehserle to two years for involuntary manslaughter, less time served.

Below is the reaction of Oscar Grant's uncle Cephus Johnson and his attorneys:

Notice how it's everybody's fault but Oscar Grant's.It's the racist 'System'.

It's the system's fault that Grant was a two time loser. It's the System's fault that as a two time loser, he made a decision to go across the Bay to San Francisco,get good and hammered and get involved in what amounted to a violent drunken riot on board a BART train. It's the System's fault that he made a decision to assault two BART transit cops, thus setting himself up for a possible third strike. And it's the Systems fault that Grant chose to resist arrest instead of lying quiet and letting the police cuff him.

So of course, since it's the System's fault,and since of course the System is ra-aa-aa-cist the next step is to take this to the Obama Department of Justice and Eric Holder....who conveniently had already weighed in even before the verdict, saying that the Justice Department is 'reviewing the case' to see whether Federal prosecution of Mehserle is warranted in addition to his sentence.

Expect the Department of Justice to attempt to prosecute Mehserle for violating Oscar Grant's civil rights.

You see, just as I said when this originally became news, Mehserle made two mistakes that New Year's Eve. One was to grab his service revolver instead of his taser. The other was to be a white cop in the age of Obama accused of shooting a black man.

Back home in Oakland, the rioting has already started, with something like 150 arrests. For me, one of the most ironic moments was a news video of two black business owners doing a board up in preparation for the anticipated riots and complaining about the racist police..while expecting these same racist police to protect their property!

The poisonous climate was also fed by Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums directly after the sentencing, as my Bay area dwelling friend Bookworm documents:

Mayor Dellums has just given a speech in which he said he decided whether justice was done by looking at the reaction of the family and, since the family was upset, he believed justice was not done. Then, after five minutes of I-feel-your-pain type nonsense he lamely added that he “hoped” the demonstrations would remain peaceful.

Bookworm quite rightly touts this as an example of what she calls 'paternalistic racism', a Leftist community leader expecting the most irresponsible reaction from the black community instead of demanding that they behave differently and challenging them to do so.

She's right, but it goes farther than that.

Ron Dellums, like too many black politicians, owes his position and his power to race pimping. Without the constantly manufactured outrage and reaction, his days of richly feeding at the public trough would be over.

So it was actually to his benefit to stoke the fires just a bit.

Attorney General Eric Holder was entirely correct when he famously said that America is a nation of cowards on race. But we are cowards in an entirely way than he meant.

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