Former BART police officer Johannes Mehserle will be sentence on Friday, November 5 for the shooting death of Oscar Grant, III. Hundreds will gather at Oakland City Hall, and later in West Oakland, 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.”
“Where is the accountability?” asked Cat Brooks, Co-Chair of the ONYX Organizing Committee. “The verdict was unjust so the sentence will be unjust. And we are angry about it. We are tired of burying our children and we are tired of the open season on black men in this country by police who are then returned to their families with a slap on the wrist.”
From the start of this case Michael Raines has portrayed Johannes Mehserle as an innocent victim of circumstance and not a murderer. Paying no attention to the racial slurs uttered before his death or the fact that Mehserle first held a Taser before putting it away and reaching for his gun. What is more, Judge Perry refused to allow Mehserle’s record into evidence so his pattern of violently assaulting men of color that culminated into Oscar’s murder was never revealed to the jury.
Adding insult to injury, KTVU of Oakland recently aired a special profiling Mehserle in efforts to gain sympathy for him before his sentencing. These are signs of what many are anticipating: a lenient sentence for a murderer.
“Given the likely scenario that Mehserle will receive a light sentence, people are going to need a place to come together and be supported in their process,” said Rachel Jackson of the New Years Movement. “We hope people come and share their rage, frustration and pain and also their hope, ideas and passion for building a world where young men and women of color are no longer terrorized and assassinated by those who are claim to be here to protect and serve.”
A live art show is planned from 2-4 p.m. at Oakland City Hall, followed by a two-hour program. At 6 p.m., a march from 14th and Broadway to Lil Bobby Hutton Park (18th & Adeline) will be held.
Friday, November 05, 2010 Rasheed Shabazz