What started out as a protest over the killing of Oscar Grant by BART officer Johannes Mehserle, escalated into a riot in Oakland.
As socially irresponsible as it sounds, I’m glad to see a few cop cars get turned over & some bottles get thrown. Will it ultimately change anything? Most likely not. Do such acts usually teem of ignorance because rioters usually end up indiscriminately damaging businesses in their own communities? Yes.
But making “protest raps,” a few t-shirts & watching Al Sharpton’s perm lead a trove of marchers while spitting rhetoric is emasculating. There’s no release of anger there, no sense of retribution. Then, you have a mayor making statements, full of legalese, in the face of a mob.
Earlier in the evening, Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums met the mob on 14th Street, urging calm and leading them on a walk to City Hall, where he gave a speech.
“I sense your frustration,” he told the crowd. “I understand that you’ve lost confidence in a process because you’ve seen what you believe is a homicide… But listen to me, we are a community of people. We are civilized people. We are a nation of laws.
“I’m asking people to disperse,” the mayor said to the couple hundred people in the crowd. “Let’s leave in a spirit of peace.”
“…What you believe is a homicide”? I understand police are allowed to use force. Whether it will be deemed as justifiable force or not has yet to be determined. But to make an assertion that it’s what people “believe” is a poor choice of words.
The video shows a homicide. The tears of Grant’s family, mourning over the loss of one of theirs, prove a homicide.
I’m all for allowing the justice system to slowly work its way into solving the rights & wrongs of a crime. However, part of me hopes some of the continuing outrage will show city leaders & the justice system that most Americans seem to believe it is indeed a homicide for which justice should be served.Protests Over BART Shooting Turn Violent [SF Chronicle]
Previously Posted — “Overkill…” – The Murder Of Oscar Grant