Coundown to the Oscar Grant Vedict/ Why Are Police beating Our Kids?

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Breaking News Update Wed June 30 2010:

Judge has taken 1st degree murder off the table. Jury will choose from 2nd degree murder, voluntary manslaughter or involuntary manslaughter… Closing arguments will start tomorrow…Mehserle’s lawyer wanted jury to choose either murder 1 or acquital. Many speculated getting murder1 would be difficult.

As the historic Oscar Grant trial comes to a close in Los Angeles we wanted to share a crucial update as to what is going on in the trial. For those who are unaware, for the first time in the history of the state of California, a police officer (Johannes Mehserle) was brought to trail and charged with murder after shooting and killing someone while on duty.

An unarmed, completely subdued Grant was shot in the back as he lay face down on New Year’s morning ’09 in front of hundreds of people on a BART subway station in Oakland. Mehserle claims he thought he reached for his taser instead of his gun. It’s a story the community wasn’t and has never brought especially when it was revealed that Mehserle was heard shouting “I thought he had a gun’.

If he had a gun, then why reach for your taser?

The community became even more enraged when it was discovered that moments before Grant was killed, Mehserle’s  partner Tony Pirone who was recently fired had called Grant a ‘bitch ass nigger’ before he was shot.

The community was even more enraged when it was discovered that Mehserle just six weeks earlier in an unprovoked attacked had severely beaten a 41-year-old Black man named Kenneth Carrethers after he was overheard complaining about how inefficient the police were at stopping crime…

We caught up with Minister of Information-JR who is the associate editor of the SF Bayview and heads up the Block Report Radio. He’s been down in LA covering the trial even after he and several other Black men under 40 were kicked out of court for a variety of un-related reasons. In our podcast JR explains why this has been going on in what many are saying is a highly biased court.

Expert witness Greg Meyers said there was no excessive use of force during the Rodney King trail. Of course he is defending Johannes Mehserle

In this interview JR talks about some of the ‘expert’ witness that have come forward in defense of Mehserle including a former LA police captain Greg Meyer who claimed that Grant when shot was resisting arrest. It’s an outlandish conclusion considering Grant was shown completely restrained with the larger Mehserle sitting on his back. however one should not be surprised, considering it was Meyer who sat on the witness stand during the Rodney King trail and claimed there was no excessive use of force.  I guess the estimated 30 thousand dollars paid to Meyer didn’t hurt when giving his testimony.

We also spoke to JR about the media blackout on the case especially in the LA area and offer up some reasons why this is happening.

In the latest update another expert witness is claiming that Mehserle was so stressed out that he became temporarily blind which is why he shot Grant. What’s taking place at this trial is unbelievable.

Today June 30th the judge will be meeting with lawyers to discuss what the options are for jurors. Mehserle’s high-priced lawyer Michael Rain is pushing for an all or nothing ruling. In short either convict him of murder or acquit him. The prosecutor wants the jury to have options so Mehserle doesn’t walk.

Sadly the judge on the trial Robert Perry has history of siding with the police as was evidence during the infamous Rampart Scandal in LA when he let the cops off the hook.

Also as we speak Oakland police have been planting seeds of fear in the community by warning people of impending riots. Last night KRON 4 reported that as much as 21 thousand national guards are on alert and ready to move in on Oakland. All off vacationing officers have been called back into the city with police as far away as Oregon ready to join in.

Why Are Police Beating Our Kids-What Should We be Doing?

In pt 2 of our podcast we sat down with community activist and former Seattle mayoral candidate Wyking Allah and  Paradise Gray of X-Clan and One Hood out in Pittsburgh to talk about the recent rash of police brutality incidents where children as young as 7 have been the victims.

Wyking does an excellent job putting things in historical context and offering solid solution for communities to follow. He noted that much of what he suggested were key tenets on his platform for mayor.

Paradise Gray updates us on two key cases in Pittsburgh. One involves the beatings that took place last fall when officers stormed the University of Pittsburgh campaus looking for anarchists. Unsuspecting students were tear-gased, beaten and arrested. There was major investigation with the police being found in the wrong.. The other incident involves honor student Jordan Miles who was beaten and had his dread locks ripped out his head by a rogue group of martial art expert police dubbed the ‘Jump Out Boys‘.

Gray also speaks about the incident of Pamela Lawton who had a police officer stick his gun in the face of her crying 7 year old after she was pulled over for a traffic violation.

Like Wyking, Paradise lays out a number of solutions for us and our communities to follow.

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Report Back From Haiti: Aid is Not Reaching People, Conditions are Dire, It’s a Military Occupation

Click HERE to listen to David Banner Interview

We were warned to pay close attention to the recovery efforts in Haiti.  People who experienced the trauma of Hurricane Katrina like rap star David Banner emphatically told us that the lights and cameras would be there for only a short period and without warning the tragedy would be yesterday’s news.  It would be during the recovery when CNN and ABC weren’t on the ground that people would be facing their greatest challenges. It would be during this period that people’s generosity would be taken advantage of, while the resources and money given would become political footballs.  It would be during this period that there would be major land grabs by those who are rich and powerful.  It happened during Katrina and it’s happening now in Haiti. The situation is very sad. The conditions are dire. Our government is at the center of the mischief making.

For those missed it.. Here’s our interview with David Banner

Last week long time Bay Area journalist JR the Minister of Information for the POCC and associate editor for the San Francisco Bayview Newspaper and owner of the Block Report Radio along with several comrades including Chris Zamani, M.D., Naseema McElroy, R.N.

We sat down and spoke with them yesterday as they explained what went down on their 5 day humanitarian mission to Cite Soleil and Del Mar.  Sadly 2 of the 5 days was spent standing on long lines and waiting as long as 8-9 hrs for infrequent flights to get to and from Haiti.  During our interview the group described in great detail the wretched conditions many of the people are living under.  It’s enough to make you sick to your stomach and get you angry at the callousness of our own military and government. They described the horrific conditions on the ground and went into detail about the types of atrocities the mainstream media is deliberately ignoring.

Dr Chris Zamani

We heard the whispers about AID not getting to the people and the large military presence which seems bent on intimidating people versus helping folks.  The group confirmed the stories. They talked about how tons of food and supplies are sitting on airports warehoused and not getting to the people.  They talked about their own efforts to feed people and some of the road blocks encountered. Dr  Zamani talked to us about treating people and was disturbed by the reports he kept hearing via our news agencies about there being a shortage of doctors.  He said that was one big lie and talked us about what was needed in the places he visited.  He really goes in on alot of the conditions and what road many are likeli to travel as recovery efforts continue.

JR who got to see much of the city Port Au Prince described the whole scene as one big occupation. he noted that it was more than obvious there’s a political agenda at play..

Click HERE to Listen to pt1 of Report Back from Haiti

Nurse Naseema McElroy talked to us about the living conditions the people were dealing with. She reminded us that there are no toilets and plumbing and that when it started raining pee and fecal waste would rise up from the ground and seep into the tents that people are now living and cause even more complications. The group talked about the over exaggeration of looting and violence. In fact if anything they talked about how people were going out of their way to help one another and laid out several stories highlighting people’s resilience in the face of such horror 

Here’s the link to our interview..

In pt2 of our interview we spoke with JR who went in and talked about the politics and policies of what he encountered in Haiti. This was not his first trip to Haiti. He was there in 2004 when former president Aristide was ousted. He talked about what that was like then and what its like now and how US policy has been a hinderance to the Haitian people.

Click HERE to listen to intv w/ JR on pt2 of Report Back from Haiti

JR really goes in on this and breaks stuff down..He talked how both white and Black elite Americans are exploiting Haitians during the recovery efforts and gave us details that hark back to the terrible days of Jim crow where Blacks were made to be seperate from whites. He says this is happening with Haitians now.  He talked in detail about the militarization of whats going on and how certain communitieslike Cite Solei known for being outspoken are seemingly being singled out and having aid withheld while being surrounded by well stocked military bases.

JR also talked about the way Wyclef and the efforts of other Hip Hop groups and organizations are being received. He highlights some of the on the ground Haitian leaders and activists we should look out for…Finally JR also offers up sound solutions on how to continue building. He strongly urges that we develop Haitian correspondants and we here in the states make it about to get news and information from Haitians on the ground. This is avery compelling interview.

Here’s the link to t2 of our interview

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