When I saw the video of rioters in downtown Oakland, upset with the verdict in the Oscar Grant trial, looting a Foot Locker, it made me wonder if they purposely decided to assemble in that specific location for the reading of the verdict, because they needed some new Nikes. Was Foot Locker anywhere near where the trial was held, or where Oscar Grant was killed, for that matter?
Come to find out, the trial wasn’t even held in Oakland. It was held in Los Angeles. The judge moved it there, because he was concerned that the Oscar Grant killing has become a contentious race issue in Oakland. Johannes Mehserle might not be able to get a fair trial. God forbid. How and why he chose Los Angeles is beyond me. Lest we forget, Los Angeles is where Officer Nigger Hater and Officer Keep Darky Down were acquitted in the Rodney King beating, because they convinced they judge that if you look at the tape backwards, it shows them helping Rodney King up and sending him on his way.
Did it have to be somewhere else in California? I always wonder about these trials where a black man got fucked the fuck up by 5-0, and the jury found the cop not guilty, or just barely guilty, and come to find out it was an all white jury, just like the band Murph was in before he was in Dinosaur Jr. I’d have to check with TPAR to see if there’s any legal basis for this, or if it’s at all possible, but if I were a lawyer in one of these trials, I’d insist on having two separate trials – one with the usual bullshit jury you find in these trials, and one with a jury consisting entirely of black people, with maybe one random Mexican or white person, just to keep things interesting. If the black jury comes up with a different verdict than the white jury, that would of course mean that the white jury might be racist.
If the judge can just up and decide to move a trial somewhere else, thus influencing the outcome, I don’t see why this would be so unreasonable. It says in the Constitution (I’m assuming) that you have a right to a trial by a jury of your peers. Black people live in this country, too, right? It’s too bad Johnny Cochran isn’t still alive. I suspect he would have been all over this.
This is definitely one of those cases I could see going either way, depending on who’s “the decider,” as George W. Bush might put it. From a black man’s perspective, the fact that Johannes Mehserle tried to claim he was reaching for his taser and he accidentally grabbed his gun lets me know that he felt as if he could get away with pretty much anything, because he was a cop, and therefore to convict of a bullshit crime like involuntary manslaughter would only serve to prove him right, and hence would be a miscarriage of justice. Why was he even reaching for his taser, if he already had the guy down on the ground? That’s like a rapist trying to argue that he was merely attempting to show a woman his peen, and he slipped in some wet grass and it went inside of her.
I watched the video again just now. It’s not like Oscar Grant and Johannes Mehserle were wrestling, and Mehserle went for his taser, as a sort of finishing move (because obviously there’s no such thing as the Boston Crab in Germany, or wherever he’s from), but he grabbed the wrong one. There were like four other cops holding Oscar Grant down. All Mehserle did was kinda stand there and shoot him. He had plenty of time to realize what he was shooting him with? And what about the cops who held Oscar Grant down. You can’t just hold somebody down while somebody else shoots them. 2Pac went to prison for holding a woman down while his weed carriers made sweet, passionate love to her.
I guess they could argue that they had no idea his dumb ass would shoot the poor bastard. Taser him for no apparent reason, sure, but people don’t (always) die from tasering. But 2Pac could have made the same argument. How did he know his weed carriers were gonna rape that girl? Maybe all they wanted to do was jerk off and drop loads on her cans and face. You can have sex with any ol’ woman, but surprisingly, many women don’t like the idea of the money shot. Er, that’s what they claim.
All I’m saying is that, as is the case with rap music, there might be levels of nuance here that white people aren’t capable of understanding. The jury in this case may not have reached the best decision.