Oscar Grant Family Press Conference: The Trial, The Verdict & What the Mainstream Press Covered Up

Oscar Grant's Uncle, Cephus Johnson aka Uncle Bobby along with Minister Keith Muhammad.

Sat July 10 Oakland, Ca: There was a press conference held at True Vine Church Here organizers along with the Oscar Grant family returned from Los Angeles and gave a Community Report Back. They go in on the jury and the press.

Minister Keith Muhammad started off by presenting a detailed break down of what took place in the courtroom. Here are the links below..followed by a brief summary of what was talked about…

http://www.swift.fm/mrdaveyd/song/50228/ pt1

http://www.swift.fm/mrdaveyd/song/50231/ pt2

http://www.swift.fm/mrdaveyd/song/50226/ pt3

Minister Keith talked about the jury and the way they deliberated. He noted the instructions given to the jury and the steps they were supposed to take in determining a verdict. He explained the delays that took place  and what they met. He noted the instructions Judge Robert Perry gave to them. Folks need to hear this portion of the press conference and keep in mind many of the concerns that Minister Keith and the Grant family raise around how quickly the jury returned a verdict. On many levels, it seems the jury didn’t fully deliberate at all.

The issue of the jury’s racial make up is talked about and how the lack of African-Americans raised cause for concern and impacted the verdict. Los Angeles is almost 25% white but was 75% on the jury. The claim that there were no Black jurors available was outlandish. Minister Keith outlines what Judge Robert Perry insisted upon in terms of selecting a jury. Many people felt the prosecutor David Stein dropped the ball. As was pointed during this press conference, he was handcuffed by the specific instructions and method dictated by Judge Perry…

What’s most troubling is what was not reported by the mainstream press around both the jury deliberation and instruction. They also spoke about how harshly the family was treated when the jury was finally reached a verdict. They weren’t even allowed in the courtroom, by callous guards..

Below is the link to the podcast detailing the Jury selection and deliberation as well as how the family was treated in court. Minister Keith also lays out some key issues that were presented in court but covered up by mainstream media… What should be noted was during his presentation much of the mainstream local media was present from KPIX to ABC etc..I would encourage folks to listen to the presentation which is in 2 parts and see if any of this is reported. Ask yourself why it hasn’t been in the news.


The Harsh Treament of Oscar Grant’s Friends Both That Night & On the Stand

Killer cop Johannes Mehsersle

In pt2 of the Community Report back… Minister Keith lays out the under reported treatment of Oscar Grant’s friends who sat on the platform and witnessed their friend be killed in front of them. He talks about the harsh treatment they received by the police including taunts after Grant was killed. He explains how the young men some as young as 15 were handcuffed and made to sit in jail handcuffed for over 6 hours after Grant was killed and then informed that they were NOT arrested and were free to go.. This is beyond heartbreaking

Minister Keith details the testimony the boys gave in court and the video footage they took while on the platform. Key aspects to the boys testimony including how the Johannes Mehserle‘s defense attorney Michael Rains tried to mock them and assassinate their character when they took the stand. Hearing about what Oscar Grant’s friends endured is beyond troubling.

Also included are details around the judge’s treatment. The boys when seeing the video broke down in court and the jury was instructed to leave.. They did not want their tears to impact the jury. With Mehserle the jury was allowed to stay when he cried. Minister Keith also explains how Mehserle was coached on how to cry..

Included in this portion is a lot of other key elements the mainstream press witnessed and was presented yet decided not to include in any of their reports. The most glaring was the behavior of Mehserle’s partners and them using racial epithets..

They also lay out the role, the money spent and conflicting testimony delivered by the expensive expert witnesses that Mehserle brought forth. He spent 65k on one witnesses who attempted to tell everyone the dozens of videos showing Grant’s shooting were unreliable and inconclusive.

He spent 50k on another expert witness a former cop named Greg Meyer who tried to tell us that Mehserle meant to use his taser. What the mainstream press ommited was showing how Mehserle ion several occasion brandish his taser that night in attempts to taunt and intimidate Grant and his friends who were never charged with anything or legally arrested. Grant took a picture of Mehserle holding the taser two minutes before was killed.

Lying cops Marysol Domenici and Tony Pirone

It was also pointed out that the officers and media claimed that Grants friends were out of control and threatening, however none of the videos or police reports indicate this.

What was also glaring were the lies told by Mehserle’s partners Tony Pirone and Marysol Dominci.

Below is the podcast to part 2.. This is very detailed,,pay close attention..please pass it around.


Uncle Bobby Speaks to the Letter of Apology Released by Johannes Mehserle

Cephus Johnson aka Uncle Bobby is the uncle to Oscar Grant. Here he talks emphatically about the ‘apology letter’ sent by Johannes Mehserle. He says its garbage and fake. He explains that the letter was never addressed to him, Oscar’s mother WandaTatiyana (Oscar’s daughter) or Sophena (the mother to Oscar’s daughter). He also talks about how Mehserle in his defense chose to assassinate Oscar’s character while invoking the policeman’s bill of rights to keep his hidden.

He noted that the letter was garbage and was as fake as the tears he shed on the stand. He said that Mehserle needs to spend 14 years in jail an then write a letter of apology and give it to the family privately. Cephus also explains the lies Mehserle detailed in his letter including how he attempted to attend to Grants aid after shooting him. Uncle Bobby points out that the video shows Mehserle handcuffing Oscar after he shot him..

Cephus also addresses the issue of violence during protest. he talks about police dressed as undercover agitating the crowds. Its later pointed out tht the family never called for violence. Its unfair to place blame on the family. Below is the podcast of the full press release and interview we did with Cephus Johnson. The video just shows a portion of his remarks.



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Hip Hop Group Native Guns Re-Unite & Release Brand New song About Oscar Grant

Hip-Hop Revolutionaries Brings it Again!
Bambu & Kiwi Reunite as Native Guns Showing Solidarity for Oscar Grant

On my last blog essay, I expressed my thoughts on the trial of Officer Mehserle for the Execution of Oscar Grant. I also wrote the need for solidarity amongst all of our communities. Well, as though it was almost an answer to what I was looking for – Hip-Hop MC’s, Bambu & Kiwi along with DJ Phatrick have reunited as their original duo group Native Guns to release their latest song, “Handcuffs”.

I remember when Native Guns broke up, I literally cried. I cried not only because they were dear friends of mine who I cared about tremendously but also I cried because of what they represented to many of us. Native Guns was not just an important voice of the Hip-Hop community but specifically the Filipino-American community. Native Guns are Filipino-American’s who are Hip-Hop MC’s amongst many others (so many to mention), who speak conscious political rhymes and voice the historical and present injustices against Filipino people. Native Guns, as many Hip-Hop MC’s, are community organizers and often make connections of our struggles to the struggles of other communities. It’s been four years since Native Guns released a song/album but here they are bringing it again, with that same connectedness and using their wise organizing skills by utilizing Hip-Hop to inspire the masses. The lyrics are witty, intelligently woven together and the beat got that ill hip-hop funky baseline and drumbeat (produced by Six Fingers). Together, they are showing that the solidarity lies amongst all of us.

Click HERE to download new Native Guns Son on Oscar Grant

The song couldn’t have come at a better time, at a time when it seems like folks are looking for something of inspiration to uplift and give hope. It’s coming at a time when many around us are trying to find ways to express our feelings but need to see positive ways of expressing those feelings. It’s also coming at the perfect time to show the media that we’re not just angry activists, but we’re activists that have a long history in this movement and we have a right to be angry.

Kiwi opens it up bringing his lyrical skills and dope flow, expressing the very views of not just activists but thousands of people who are tired of what is going on in their communities:

“fire on the streets/i can feel the smoke and the heat
the whole city on lock/got no where to eat
A shot heard around town/so the people won’t sleep
another brother taken down/by the fuckin police
We’re sick of just yelling/No Justice! No Peace!”

My last essay, also spoke about all issues being connected to what’s happening in Arizona to other issues around the world. Native Guns also make the same connections with Bambu’s line, “To the pig from Oakland/to a life getting stolen/from a pig in Gaza/To the pig who killed Ayana” and “It’s Arizona to Watts/Philippines to Iraq” and Kiwi’s lines “same bullets, same tank, used on the West Bank.”

Just when you think the verses were truth with fire, the hook itself spoke the truth and inspires me to want to walk with the masses the day the verdict goes down:

(Handcuffs) we are not afraid we are mad
(Native Guns) Take it to the streets just like that
(Handcuffs) Its bigger than the block we on
(Native Guns) All power to the masses homes
(Handcuffs) bottom to the top school up
(Native Guns) linkin all for that money/getting cut up
(Handcuffs) Meet me at the Fruitvale BART
(Native Guns) Shake the system/Rip the setup apart


Bambu, also sharply makes a strong point with lines like “the issues are bigger than one murderous cop”, which brings it to the point that the issues are big, that we are dealing with a large entity, a system that is connected to other systems which Kiwi illustrates, “less money for city college or healthcare/more people unemployed no welfare/the same people on all the streets trying to get theirs/politicians, corporations like (handcuffs) hell yeah/”

The song is fire, speaks truth to power and I am proud to know that my brothers Native Guns came together for such an important song. Thank you, thank you, thank you and bless you.

Download the song here: http://24kmilky.com/7203/native-guns-handcuffs
(i’m also posting it on my wall so you can hear it before downloading if you wish) But please Post it everywhere And Let this be a call-to-action for all of our communities to come together. Express yourselves with a song, a beat, a dance and organize with our communities, come out when the verdict goes down, express yourself!

All I know is, we got to be together…

Peace, love, and unity
Kuttin Kandi

p.s. to read my last essay on Oscar Grant go here: http://www.facebook.com/notes/kuttin-kandi/no-independence-day-in-unity-struggle-till-we-are-all-free-for-oscar-grant/409911133373

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Oscar Grant Trial: Oakland Protestor Looks Back & Speaks out (Why I Engaged the Police)


Last year during the Jan 7th 2009 protest, (Oscar Grant funeral/ Oscar Grant Rebellion) many saw a young man with a black hoodie and locks engaging the police about their thoughts and feelings around the murder of Oscar Grant.. The man was seen on tape asking a series of questions about how the cops felt, their thoughts on officer Mehserle whose name was not known to the public and how they would feel if it was one of their kids on the Fruitvale BART station platform that night…The brother would not let up as he spent a good 30-40 minutes going up and down the police line asking each and every officer similar questions… He reminded them that he was a citizen, born and raised in Oakland and wanted to know if he should feel safe riding BART… It was pretty compelling as images of this brother engaging the police were seen all over the world..

I never caught dude’s name being that shortly after filming this, the police were given orders to clear the intersection of 14th and Broadway..The guy in the black hoodie and dreads was probably one of the first to be arrested and roughed up that night. According to him, the police wasted no time making a direct b-line to him..

We finally caught up with 23-year-old Jonathan Levy who was the protestor shown in the film..  Looking back to the events 18 months ago on the eve of the Oscar Grant verdict, Levy explained that he didn’t know too much about the particulars surrounding Grant until the day of the protests and his funeral. He said he felt compelled to go downtown and voice his concern and when he saw the line of police, he decided to approach them.

He explained that like most young men in Oakland his interactions with the police have not been positive. Oscar Grant’s murder struck a nerve. In engaging the police, Levy noted that he made it a point to stay within the lines of the law. In fact on several occasions he asked if his questions were illegal or if he was doing anything wrong. He never got a response.

Levy noted that his questions connected with a couple of the officers. He felt that all of them should’ve been out there protesting with the people and speaking out about the wrong doings of former BART officer Johannes Mehserle. Some of the other officer, were chomping at the bit as his questions got under their skin. As was mentioned earlier Jonathan was arrested, roughed up. His brother was beaten. He was charged with of failure to disperse and unlawful assembly. Charges were dropped the next day.

Levy explained that he had no regrets as to what he did. He was ready and willing to accept the consequences and in fact felt it would’ve been hypocritical to have runaway after asking those questions. He wanted to make a larger point about the importance of seeing justice for Oscar Grant and his family.  He also noted that he fully expects to be out there with the community on 14th and Broadway  6pm.. the night of the verdict.. He also said its important for folks not to riot out of respect for what the Grant family asked for.. ‘We still gotta live here’ , he noted..

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