"Where else would you go when you have an ax to grind?"

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Killer cops strike again

Police respond to a report of a brawl on a train platform in Oakland on New Years Eve. In the process of rousting a group of young men, the cops take one man, who is telling is friends to settle down, lay him down on his belly, and somewhere along the line shoot him dead.

What is really chilling in this video - and there are several others out there on the internet - is the total lack of reaction by the cops to the gun shot. For the most part, they don't even bat an eye. If the shot was accidental, what was the cop doing with his gun out in the first place? The man who was killed, 22-year-old Oscar Grant, was clearly not resisting. Even if, as some have suggested, the officer, Johannes Mehserle, a two-year veteran of the Bay Area transit police, was reaching for his taser not his gun, what the hell was he doing reaching for a weapon at all?

How long will police officers continue to be given the benefit of the doubt when they assault or even murder people -in front of dozens of witnesses in this case- simply because someone challenges their authority or otherwise annoys them?

Mario Pangelina, Mesa's brother who was riding on the same train, two cars behind Grant on Thursday morning, said Sunday he saw Grant beg police not to Taser him because of his child.
"He kept saying, 'Please, please don't Tase me,"' Pangelina said. "He was not acting hostile."
Other witnesses said Grant was lying on his stomach on the station's platform when he was shot.

Update: This case isn't going to go away. Over 100 arrests were made at this protest-turned-riot Wednesday night in Oakland. Reading the newspaper accounts, it sounds like coverage of the Watts riots.

1 comment:

Gazetteer said...

The horror.

I have passed through that station many times, sometimes with my kids in tow, on the way to and from the ballpark in Oakland.

Our friend Frankie has in important take on this here