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Oscar Grant’s Killer “Not a Murder” Says the Courts

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Video via Kiwi.

The jury found BART cop Johannes Mehserle, who had shot and killed an innocent and handcuffed Oscar Grant, while he was lying on his stomach, not guilty of first or second degree murder.

Julianne Hing writes:

For many in Oakland who have rallied around the Grant family, the verdict was deeply unsatisfying. People are asking now whether the jury misinterpreted the evidence and testimony presented in court. How could a jury all but acquit a white cop for yet another killing of a young Black man?

Video of the shooting seems to plainly demonstrate a man being murdered: After wrestling Oscar Grant to the ground, BART cop Tony Pirone helps Mehserle turn Grant over onto his stomach. Pirone kneels on top of Grant and presses Grant’s face into the BART platform as Mehserle moves to handcuff him. Mehserle gets ahold of Grant’s left hand, but can’t get Grant’s right hand out of his pocket. Mehserle reaches and fumbles, but eventually pulls out his gun, stands up and shoots Grant–“execution-style,” as many have called Mehserle’s fatal act that night.

It’s not that the defense was so dazzling; it’s that malicious intent is so incredibly difficult for the prosecution to prove, particularly when a cop is involved. As Grant family attorney John Burris said at yesterday’s press conference, “In my long history being involved in police matters since 1979 and well over 30 homicides with police, never have I had a case when a police officer was convicted of any crime against an African American male.”

A man passes by an Oscar Grant mural in Oakland, California (photo by Noah Berger/AP).

  1. freskocity permalink
    Sunday, July 11, 2010 8:16 pm

    What I don’t understand is that if the jury believes that he meant to reach for his gun, use his gun, and then shot his gun, why that doesn’t equal malicious intent.

  2. Monday, July 12, 2010 7:37 am

    it’s such a disgrace. and I think those cops got away from murdering Amadou Diallo after shooting him 41 times. Disgusting.

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