Oscar Grant was shot dead by Bay Area Rapid Transit officer Johannes Mehserle in 2009 on BART’s Fruitvale platform. Witnesses took multiple recordings of the incident on cell phones, which showed defiant but relatively calm young men being detained by BART police for an earlier fight on the train. Officers restrained Oscar Grant and attempted to handcuff him while he was face down on the ground. Seemingly out of nowhere, Mehserle fired his weapon. Officer Mehserle claimed that while resisting arrest Grant reached for a (nonexistent) weapon in his waistband, and Mehserle shot him accidentally in the back intending to tase the young man. Witnesses and video footage say different. Mehserle resigned, but was sentenced to only two years in jail (and served even less) for involuntary manslaughter. Other officers who were involved in the incident were fired, but later rehired by BART. Two other men have been killed by BART officers since Oscar Grant’s death. There were riots after Mehserle’s conviction and multiple protests against police violence at BART stations. BART paid Oscar Grant’s 4-year-old daughter $1.5 million in a settlement, and lawsuits with other family members and young men present that day are still pending.
In a strange twist of fate, Grant’s cousin Tony Jones was shot in the back by Oakland police Sunday night. Thankfully, he survived the shooting and is being treated for injuries at Highland Hospital. Jones was a passenger in a van pulled over by OPD on suspicion of being involved with a robbery. Jones attempted to leave the scene, walking away but began running when he saw he was being pursued. Jones’ mother says when he “took off running..[he] heard the gun go pow pow pow.” Police say “the passenger was in possession of a firearm” that was recovered at the scene. (Though I’m still unsure as to how much of a threat someone is, even with a gun, while running away in fear.) The OPD have not identified the officer who shot Jones, but have charged Jones with four felonies. Jones’ mother and lawyer maintain that he was unarmed when he was shot in the back by the officer and that there is no evidence he was involved in a robbery. Jones’ lawyer, Waukeen McCoy, says they plan to seek unspecified damages for “unreasonable force.”
The two cases bring attention to rampant police brutality in not just the Bay Area, but all over the country. Please watch the following report on police brutality in the United States by Infowars Nightly News’ Darrin McBreen. WARNING: This video contains graphic, disturbing, and extremely important material!!! Not appropriate for children, but a necessity for anyone who is comfortable with the status quo while this shit is going on out here in the real world. This is what a police state looks like! I cry every time I watch this: