This is just utterly depressing. I just viewed the video again, [heavy trigger warning] and I am at a loss for words. How anyone can view that and buy into the cop's story that it was an accident is just beyond me. The guilty cop is Johannes Mehserle and is only getting 2-4 years for manslaughter. It's particularly telling that moments after the shooting, the cops involved attempted to confiscate witness' cell phones. How the fuck am I to believe he thought it was an accident when immediately following the police officers involved attempted to cover it up?
Mehserle's defense was that he thought he had reached for his taser, but in fact pulled his gun and shot Grant. The two weapons are one two different sides of his body. I find it highly unlikely that he did not know which weapon he reached for.
There are others who've said it better than I have, so I'll direct you to them. My deepest condolences with Grant's family at this time.
Anna Marie at Feministing:
Mehserle got involuntary manslaughter, y'all. INVOLUNTARY MANSLAUGHTER. That's what you get when you get into a car accident. According to ABC News, "Regarding the upcoming sentencing, Burris [Grant's family attorney] said, 'He should be going to jail for the rest of his life, but yet he very well may get a sentence that does not even require him to go to jail, which would be the ultimate insult and travesty that I can imagine.'
Melissa McEwan at Shakesville:
The whole taser-gun switcheroo is on what the verdict rests. It was Mehserle's contention that he had accidentally pulled out his gun (located on his right hip) instead of his taser (located on his left hip) and fired a round into Oscar Grant before realizing he'd "grabbed the wrong weapon."
Which, in my estimation, is all a red herring even irrespective of its alleged veracity (which is a whole other issue). The fact is, Mehserle could not have justifiably used his taser in that situation, either. Grant clearly hadn't come close to resisting, and thus Mehserle's intent was to hurt him, plain and simple. That he hurt him until he was dead doesn't make it involuntary. Fuck.macon d at stuff white people do:
Violence in the wake of racial injustice is what gets the attention of the white-framed media, not the injustice itself. As I write this, CNN finds the news of a basketball player's team-switch bigger news; readers have to search more carefully for a link that says, "Hundreds protest after BART verdict."
Would "thousands" have bumped the story up the page? "Hundreds of thousands"? Whatever the number, it's the protests that the white-framed corporate media focus on today as the "story" here. Not the searing injustice of yet another light sentence for the state-sponsored killer of yet another unarmed black man.
I will likely be adding more to this list as the day goes on. You may consider this an open thread on the verdict.