Mehserle Sentencing Follow Up

Some sites to check out:

First, read how the mainstream media covered the “violent protests” after the sentencing:

Screen shot from Friday Night - MSNBC

Now read the account of a protester on the scene so that you can actually understand not only how they ended up in a residential neighborhood (which isn’t explained in the MSM) but also how they were treated post arrest.

Police Brutality at the Oscar Grant Protest on November 5th, 2010 at Inoculated City. The author of the post was one of the 152 people arrested for peacefully protesting the sentencing. An excerpt:

The police announced that media had to leave or they would be arrested. No one without a video camera/proof of media was allowed to leave. Seconds after that, the following announcement was made: “THIS HAS BEEN DECLARED A CRIME SCENE AND YOU ARE ALL UNDER ARREST.” At this point, I still did not believe that most of us would be arrested, since plenty of us were more than willing to leave peacefully, and even those that weren’t simply wanted to link arms and stand peacefully. But it quickly became clear that I was wrong and we were, quite literally, all being arrested as one by one people were cuffed. [...]

Throughout this process, police were making countless jokes to each other about us, and directly to our faces, including laughing hysterically as they told us that we were all being booked on felonies, an outright lie that they knew was a lie as they had already filled out our booking papers with the misdemeanor of “unlawful assembly.” As water bottles were passed out to the police, many of us requested water. Not only were we were refused, even those of us with medical conditions, but a policeman near me even poured out a bottle of water on the ground in front of someone who had requested water, and laughed in the person’s face.

Go read the whole thing.  At Shakesville, Melissa wrote a piece about this aftermath in response to the extremely light sentencing of Mehserle titled “Prove the Point MORE“.

At the San Francisco Chronicle, they explain how Mehserle will now only serve 72 (!!!) days in jail for this crime.

Ta-Nehisi Coates at The Atlantic tells us why punishing a single cop for brutality/murder doesn’t matter in the scheme of things since this is really a systemic problem, even crisis.  An excerpt:

I think another argument for sentencing Mehserle to serious time is that a message needs to be sent to other cops that the society takes their crimes seriously. But that gets its backwards. It is a society that passes laws which send SWAT teams into gambling houses that is in need of a message. These are the cops that we deserve. In that sense, I am not so disturbed that Oscar Grant’s killer will do little, if any, jail time. I am disturbed that this will happen again. I am disturbed that we are so fragile a people, that we know this, and that all we can do is look away.

Over at Color Lines, Julianne Hing writes that “The Lesson of Mehserle’s Trial? Justice is Found in Prevention.“  An excerpt:

Criminal prosecutions are a necessary salve for families who want personal accountability for their deepest losses and courts remain the most public venue to demand justice for police officers’ violent behavior. But for many organizers and academics who work on police brutality issues, they are not the most effective.  Prosecutions so often end in acquittal, for one—as the painful verdicts for the cops charged with attacking Amadou Diallo, Sean Bell, Abner Louima and Rodney King all illustrate. But more than that, organizers say the hard work of bringing about long-term change comes only from engaging in systemic overhauls and with sustained pressure on police departments to do preventative work. For that, people must be a steady presence at their local police departments’ public accountability meetings or in their local sheriff’s office.

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