Oscar Grant’s Killer Arrested! (And Charged with Murder)

Holy…! It happened! I was growing concerned that this issue wouldn’t be taken seriously, but it seems as though it has, thanks to protesters, media coverage, and my fellow bloggers! Read this post to catch up on the story if you haven’t been following it.

The police officer who shot Mr. Grant while he was lying face down on the ground was apprehended in Nevada and arrested on suspicion of murder.

From the San Francisco Chronicle via Pam’s House Blend:

[Johannes] Mehserle was arrested in the New Year’s Day shooting of Oscar Grant, a 22-year-old supermarket worker from Hayward who was lying facedown after being pulled off a BART train by police investigating a fight. An Alameda County judge signed an arrest warrant alleging murder, and Mehserle surrendered without incident, authorities said.

…Mehserle declined to speak to BART criminal investigators after the shooting. Then last Wednesday he resigned rather than answer questions from BART’s internal affairs division.

Also from the article: “Some Oakland community leaders and civil rights activists said the case is symbolic of larger problems with police officers using excessive force on young black men. Grant was black and Mehserle is white.”

Oh really? Let’s look at some other incidents that also occurred on New Years Day.

The curious case of Adolf Grimes:

A young, black man in New Orleans is dead, slain by police officers on New Year’s Day, in an incident that has outraged a community and triggered protests over what family members are calling a “murder.”

Read more details about the murder of Adolf Grimes at CNN.

And the shooting of Robbie Tolan:

The family of a young black Texas man who was shot in his own driveway by a white police officer believes that racial profiling was the cause and are asking for criminal charges to be filed against the officer.

According to family members, Robbie Tolan and his cousin were returning to Tolan’s home in the mostly white Houston suburb of Bellaire in the early hours of December 31, when they were approached by officers who suspected the SUV they had just gotten out of was stolen.

Tolan’s parents, who own the SUV, came out of the house to explain the situation. An altercation ensued and Tolan’s mother was thrown against the garage door by an officer. According to Tolan’s uncle, “Her son was on his back at the time, and he raised up and asked, ‘What are you doing to my mom?’ and the officer shot him — while he was on the ground.”

The CNN story.

Systematic problem? Naaaaaah. /snark


Unless new evidence surfaces during Mehserle’s trial, [Alameda County District Attorney Tom] Orloff said, it is being treated as a homicide. “Murder charges were filed because at this point, what I feel the evidence indicates is an unlawful killing done by an intentional act, and from the evidence we have, there’s nothing that would mitigate that to something lower than a murder.”