Here’s the link to our special Hard Knock Radio/ Flashpoints broadcast on the Johannes Mehserle sentencing with myself and Sabrina Jacobs…Our guest included Oscar Grant’s uncle Cephus Johnson aka Uncle Bobby,Jack Bryson who’s sons were on the Fruitvale BART platform w/ Oscar when he was killed….We also spoke with Grant family lawyer John Burris, LA correspondent Thiandiswe Chimurenga, M1 of dead prez, Minister Keith Muhammad of the Nation of Islam , Jesse Strauss Dennis Bernstein and Miguel Molina of Flashpoints and Alan Gomez of Puente Arizona.
Here’s a link to the show
Tonight Oakland Police showed us what Marshall Law was all about as they conducted mass arrests in East Oakland around 6th and East 17th. All in all over 150 people were arrested and likely to be taken to North County or Santa Rita for the weekend.
This all began when about 500 marchers left downtown where city hall is located and attempted to march to the Fruitvale BART station where Oscar Grant was murdered. OPD had devised a boxed in strategy which was described as a scrimmage line. With the use of helicopters, dozens of patrol cars and undercover cops spread throughout the crowd, police in a series of manuevers tried to corral marchers into a block and immobilize them.
The marchers were a multi-ethnic crowd featuring people of all ages and classes. many were disappointed with the outcome and felt that justice was not served. The overwhelming majority of the marchers were peaceful, in fact this was affirmed early on KGO News who had a reporter in the crowd. As the night went on the narrative changed when it was reported that some car windows were broken. Even though this wasn’t done my 99% of the marchers it was the excuse the police needed. One of the marchers described the police as increasingly aggressive when they found it it difficult to contain 500 people.
When folks arrived at 6th and East 17th the police in riot gear had all sides blocked and declared the area a crime scene. Many of the folks had no idea what that meant and why they were not allowed to leave. Police then announced that everyone except the press would be subjected to arrest. Some marchers were getting conflicting information where they were told they could leave, but when they attempted they were told they could not.
Police were on bull horns telling the crowd ‘This is a crime scene Do Not Resist the Police.” Again no one had any idea why it was a crime scene and what that meant.
Observers from Lawyers Guild were told that a rock was thrown at the police and everyone in the march were going to be arrested as ‘agitators’. This was the story given when I was out there. Imagine our surprise when we got home and saw the evening news running stories saying that someone had snatched a gun from the holster of an officer, and someone else had hit an officer with a car. That wasn’t the 500 people in the march, those were two individuals, both who have been arrested.
We later heard that everyone was arrested for unlawfully assembly. None of this information was made known to the veteran reporters who called into our L’Onda radio show on KPFA including a veteran cop watch leader who was with the marchers as an observer and not allowed to leave with the accredited press.
The police also claim that folks had broken other windows. The question raised is why blame everyone in the march? Police had undercover officers amongst the marchers, they weren’t aware of who specifically violated the law? Why not give folks an opportunity to disperse versus arresting everyone wholesale?
Do Not Resist the Police seemed to be the new mantra from an oppressive force that has now gotten away with murder.
Folks observing the mass arrests were talking about the outlandish remarks attributed to sentencing Judge Robert J Perry. This included him telling the Grant family that with President Obama in the White House folks should not see this incident as racial. He parroted all the talking points of the defense and pretty much blamed Oscar Grant for his own death. Please listen to the radio interview we posted up that features report backs from several people who sat in the courtroom including Grant’s Uncle and news reporter Thandi Chimurenga Here’s the link:http://www.kpfa.org/archive/id/65170
Many are trying to figure out ways to remove him from the bench.. here’s a link to that process http://www.ajs.org/ethics/eth_impeachement.asp
To see more photos click link below