"Officer Johannes Mehserle, 27, was supposed to make a statement Wednesday about why he shot 22-year-old Oscar Grant as the supermarket worker lay face-down at the Fruitvale Station in Oakland, BART said.
...Mehserle, however, did not show up for the scheduled interview at 11 a.m.
...Mehserle's resignation means he does not have to answer questions about the shooting from BART internal affairs investigators.
...BART had come under fire from John Burris, the attorney for Grant's family, for not having forced Mehserle to talk with internal affairs investigators since the shooting. Unlike in criminal investigations - in which a suspect has the constitutional right not to talk to police - officers involved in on-the-job shootings must talk to inspectors as part of administrative inquiries or risk being fired." *
"District Attorney Tom Orloff told CNN on Wednesday the incident is a 'pretty clear' homicide and his office will focus primarily on Mehserle's mental state prior to the shooting." *
Nearly 98% of emergency room physicians report that they believe some patients were victims of suspected excessive force by police, a national survey concludes. Yet most of the suspected incidents went unreported because no laws require physicians to alert authorities.
The survey of 315 physicians, contained in the Emergency Medicine Journal's January issue and based on 2002 data, is believed to be the first doctors' account of suspected police brutality, says H. Range Hutson, the lead author and assistant professor of emergency medicine at Harvard.
The responses were based on interactions with patients who were brought in by police or who said officers caused their injuries. Ninety-five percent of the doctors reported injuries caused by fists and feet. Hutson says the survey and analysis of findings were in the works for years.
National police groups challenged the survey, saying it would be hard for physicians to know if injuries resulted from excessive force if they were not present during the encounters.
I think a drug murder and wrongful police shooting are equivalent: both are senseless, inexcusable, and should be punishable by a long life of ass rape.
A little rebellion now and then is a good thing . . . .It is a medicine necessary for the sound health of government... God forbid we should ever be twenty years without such a rebellion. The people cannot be all, and always, well informed. The part which is wrong will be discontented, in proportion to the importance of the facts they misconceive. If they remain quiet under such misconceptions, it is lethargy, the forerunner of death to the public liberty . . . . and what country can preserve its liberties, if its rulers are not warned, from time to time, that this people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms. The remedy is to set them right as to the facts, pardon and pacify them. What signify a few lives lost in a century or two? The tree of liberty must be refreshed, from time to time, with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure.
"This is about justice for the execution of a young Black worker, father and son.ALAMEDA COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY
1225 Fallon Street # 900
Oakland, CA 94612
(510) 271-5157 faxCall and fax the DA to demand that Mehserle be arrested and charged with murder.
Let's support those arrested folks -- go to the court date tomorrow [Friday 01/09/09] at 2 p.m., Room 107 in the Wiley W. Manuel Courthouse.
Call the Lawyers Guild (415-285-1011) if you have been arrested or know of those who have been arrested.
Let's get together and focus our rage and anger toward the right targets not each other."
ALAMEDA COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY
1225 Fallon Street # 900
Oakland, CA 94612
(510) 271-5157 fax
"The man who organized Wednesday's BART police protest said he broke down in tears when he saw his peaceful march turn violent as some participants began throwing bottles, spitting on police cars and setting small fires.
Evan Shamar said he left the demonstration and watched on television as the situation got worse.
'I was devastated by it,' said Shamar, 24, a photographer who lives in Oakland. 'I worked diligently for the past 72 hours, and for it to be destroyed by a group of anarchists was extremely upsetting. I felt like my integrity had been compromised.'"
Tom Orloff, who will now receive evidence from both agencies, said he expects to make a decision in about two weeks on whether to file criminal charges.
Tom Orloff said Thursday that he will decide within two weeks whether to file criminal charges against Mehserle.
he also had a gun on the street in the first place, which most of us are not supposed to carry
And if the crowd of demonstrators was largely multiethnic, it was clear by this point that the functional vanguard was composed largely of the young, black teenagers most acutely aware of their relationship to the police. There were chants of “We are all Oscar Grant!” and several protestors lay in the middle of the street with their hands behind their backs, mimicking the position in which Grant was executed.
At mark 00:10 an unidentified bald officer walks up and punches Oscar Grant in the face. This is obvious in the video as the officer's arm moves forward and Grant's head snaps back and Grant begins to collapse. After striking Grant the officer moves him to a seated position and grant puts his hands up palm forward in supplication, the officer orders another man to sit and then leaves after a few seconds.
At 01:23, after the bald officer returns and appears to order the detainees arrest, this is apparent as the officers were talking with the suspects until the bald officer marched back over. At this point Mehserle moves Grant to a kneeling position and pulls Grant's arms behind him, there is no sign of resistance at this point.
However, at 01:26 Mehserle pushes Grant face first to the ground while the bald officer plants his knee on Grant's neck, which causes Grant to involuntarily squirm due to the pain of that maneuver. Up to this point there appeared to be no threat posed by Grant to justify the use of this tactic.
At 01:28 Mehserle makes a furtive grab for his service weapon, but then stops.
At 01:45 Grant grabs at his service weapon again, this time he continues to try to pull it from the holster for at least 2 full seconds, ample time to have figured out that this was not a taser which is held in a different type of holster and has a different feel.
Four seconds later, at 01:49, the bald officer shifts his stance to the other side of Grant to put himself out of the line of fire, but resumes his pain compliance hold with his knee on Grant's neck while Mehserle pulls his service weapon from the holster. This would indicate that the order to fire, whether it was to fire a taser or the Mehserle's service weapon, came from the bald officer.
At 01:51 Mehserle gets into his stance and aims his weapon at Grant while the bald officer maintains his hold. If this was in prep for the application of a taser the bald officer would have moved away now to avoid getting shocked.
At 01:52 Mehserle fires a shot into Grant's back as the bald officer continues to hold him face down on the floor of the station.
It's only one second later, at 01:53, that the bald officer finally stands up and steps away from the mortally injured Grant.
(01-12) 14:40 PST Oakland --
BART police wrapped up their preliminary investigation today of the officer-involved shooting early New Year's Day of an unarmed man in Oakland and have forwarded the case to the Alameda County district attorney's office, officials said.
"Now it is the district attorney's responsibility to decide whether to file charges in this case," Dugger said at a hastily arranged news conference at BART headquarters in Oakland. "We urge the district attorney to expeditiously review all the evidence available to him and bring this investigation to a conclusion."
Today's announcement came as BART's board of directors was scheduled to appoint a committee to figure out ways to avoid such shootings in the future.
In a statement, the union that represents BART's 296 police officers and other personnel said today, "It is our hope that this brings everyone one step closer to finding out all relevant details and ensuring this type of incident never repeats itself." The union also said that establishing the new committee "is an appropriate course of action."
"Mehserle's attorney, Christopher W. Miller of Sacramento, confirmed early today that his client was arrested on suspicion of murder. He said he would not comment further until a news conference today."*
"Alameda County District Attorney Tom Orloff is expected to announce details of the arrest Wednesday. There was no immediate word on what the charges of Mehserle faces." *
"[Alameda County District Attorney Tom] Orloff said his office decided to charge Mehserle with murder because there is evidence of an unlawful, intentional killing. However, Orloff repeated several times that the charge does not specify the degree of murder, and refused to speculate on what the final charge would be.
In answer to [a] question why Mehserle wasn’t charged with a lesser crime, such as manslaughter, Orloff said the facts of the investigation did not speak to that.
...Orloff denied that the timing of the arrest and pressing of charges have anything to do with the expected large rally scheduled for today in downtown Oakland."
"[Mehserle] was arrested Tuesday night at a home in Zephyr Cove and held in Douglas County Jail without bail. Undersheriff Paul Howell said he believed Mehserle went to Nevada for his own safety. 'He just wanted to get out of the Bay Area due to the magnitude of the incident,” Howell said. “He wasn’t trying to run.'
...Mehserle was arrested at 6:20 p.m. Tuesday on a fugitive warrant at a Zephyr Cove home belonging to friends, according to the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office.
The sheriff’s office was informed early Tuesday by the Oakland Police Department that Mehserle was believed to be in the Zephyr Cove area.
Officials contacted Mehserle’s attorney and advised him Mehserle was at the residence. According to reports, the attorney telephoned Mehserle who surrendered without incident."*
"A new court filing alleges that the 22-year-old man killed by a Bay Area transit officer had his hands behind his back and another officer was kneeling on his neck when he was shot.
The allegations were contained in an Oakland police officer's request Tuesday to issue an arrest warrant for Johannes Mehserle.
...The court filing said it appeared from cell phone video that 'Mehserle shot and killed Oscar Grant while Grant was restrained and unarmed.'"
"Orloff said Wednesday that the videos shot by BART passengers - including "very valuable" footage that the public hasn't seen - show an apparently unlawful and intentional killing, the textbook definition of murder.
"The videos are very powerful on what act was committed," the district attorney said. "The issue likely to be in this case is, what was the mental state at the time that act was committed?"
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