Cops Sue Sean Bell Estate, Support Rally Set for Johannes Mehserle, Grant Family Demonized-The Police Strike Back

There’s an old saying The best defense is a strong offense. It applied in sports. We see it in politics. We see it used by lawyers especially in rape trials where they go all out to destroy a victim’s character to protect their client-who is accused of doing the rape. In recent days we now see it with the police as they seek to re-tool a grossly tarnished image where the shooting death of an unarmed Oscar Grant has been a main spark point.

Yesterday Bay Area residents who had organized and rallied tirelessly for Justice for Oscar Grant were shocked to learn that a rally is being planned this Monday in Walnut Creek for the convicted killer of Oscar Grant Johannes Mehserle. It came a day after Mehserle’s lawyer Michael Rains bristled at the rejection of his client’s ‘apology’ letter and accused the Grants of being ‘mean spirited’ . That enraged hundreds of people who felt the Mehserle camp was insensitive and disingenuous especially since the letter was written to the public and not to the Grants.

Here’s the notice that was sent out:


by MR. MAYOR on JULY 13, 2010 ·

Hundreds of people are expected to attend a rally on Monday, July 19th at the Walnut Creek Courthouse to show their support for Johannes Mehserle, the former BART cop who was recently found guilty of involuntary manslaughter for killing an unarmed man named Oscar Grant on New Year’s Day in 2009.

The group coordinating the rally had the following to say on their Facebook page….

Anyone who supports Johannes and our Law Enforcement Officers may attend. This is a peaceful rally to show our support for Johannes and the injustices he is experiencing.

The rally is from 2pm-7pm on Monday July 19th at the Walnut Creek Courthouse on Ygnacio Valley Road.

Interesting to note when the rally was first announced here’s how it read…


Johannes Mehserle

Obviously the pressure was too much so they pulled it down and tried to switch it up to the more inoculated Rally for Mehserle and Law Enforcement Officers (LEO). This comes on the heels of cops raising money for Mehserle’s defense which no doubt allowed him to afford expert witnesses who were paid 65K and 50k for testimony that refuted the dozens of videos and explained that Mehserle was not properly trained to use his taser.

Well known anti-police brutality lawyer John Burris who is working with the Grant family told the San Jose Mercury news..he was not surprised such a rally would be held.

“There are individuals who support Mehserle and support police in general & and that’s just part of & the split in this country, those who don’t really understand the actions of the police in the African American community,” Burris said.

Many feel this rally is not only an attempt to booster the sagging image of law enforcement but also a way to show support, generate news and get Mehserle’s sentenced reduced. Thus far local news station KGO (ABC affiliate) has signed up to be in attendance.

What’s missing are good officers to speak out and say No-What Mehserle did was wrong.. We do have the report from NOBLE (National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives) to BART that shows the serious flaws in the way the police department was run and the Meyer Naves Report which shows the negligence of officers, but in spite of those findings and a conviction, there are many who feel Mehserle was done an injustice and they intend to support. That’s a huge disconnect

Why Walnut Creek? The suburb which is 25 miles west of San Francisco is home to a lot of Neilson Boxes which determine television ratings. That’s why you always see a reporter doing the whether, some feel good story or interviewing a local politician from that area. It’s good for ratings. Any smart organizer knows if you do a rally there, almost all TV media will show up, so expect this event, even it draws 10 people to get massive coverage on local Bay Area stations come Monday.  Already almost every news station is announcing this..

While the Grant family is processing a rally held in support of the cop who killed their son, almost on cue, Fox news Glenn Beck who all but ignored this case opened his mouth and weighed in. He accused the Department of Justice which is looking into this case of being racist.  This no doubt will get everyone ginned up and ready to rally behind Mehserle no matter how glaring the evidence.

Adding to this push back from police is the recent announcement that one of the officers involved in the Sean Bell incident in which the unarmed groom to be was shot dead in a hail of 50 bullets, is suing the Bell estate.

According to the NY Post

A cop involved in the fatal shooting of Sean Bell on his wedding day is now suing the dead man’s estate — claiming Bell drunkenly assaulted and badly injured him with a car right before the hail of police gunfire that brought the unarmed man down.

Police Officer Michael Carey’s lawsuit says Bell was boozed-up when he got behind the wheel of the car after his bachelor party on Nov. 25, 2006, and also claims the doomed groom failed to wear glasses or contact lenses despite having poor eyesight.

Carey’s allegations are contained in a Brooklyn federal counter-claim filed last week in response to a wrongful-death lawsuit being pursued by Bell’s fiancée, Nicole Paultre Bell, against him and the other four cops involved.

In the future expect to hear and see more of these types of pushback. Expect to see lawsuits, countersuits and police support rallies.  What’s interesting to note is that while cops can sue us as individuals we can’t sue them back. We can sue the city or municipality and hold them liable, but no money from any lawsuit will come out of their pocket. You can also expect to see more outspoken punditry rush to their defense and push their key talking points. It might be a national figure like a Glenn Beck or a local on air personality who works for an outlet that has a cozy relationship with the police where they are embedded which is what we saw at the recent Grant verdict rally or where they have business interests. In other words an urban station in a big market will seek favor from the police to make sure they can continue to host night clubs and do shows in their respective jurisdictions.

DJ Kaos

In recent years we seen everyone from Steve Harvey to Clear Channel hosts DJ Kaos and DJ Sylli Asz on KATZ in St Louis get censored or fired for talking about the police after phone calls were made. In the case of Steve Harvey, he got on the air in Los Angeles and went off about the negligence of police officers who ‘mistakenly’ shot a Halloween party goer who was wearing a cowboy outfit for having a gun. According to news anchor Harrison Chastang of KPOO Radio who first reported the story, Harvey heavily criticized the police as he should’ve, but then returned to the airwaves the next day to apologize, claiming he was not a ‘police critic’.  It was reported that phone calls were made by then LA Police Chief Bernard Parks to Radio One the parent company to shut him up.

In the case of Kaos and Sylli Asz, they were accused of making light of a recent police killing. They were initially suspended, but that wasn’t enough, the police pressured Clear Channel and they were later fired. many may say that was appropriate, but contrast that with the police officers who routinely post up insensitive material on a website called the Domelights in Philadelphia where racial epithets are hurled and victims of police brutality are made fun of. It got so out of hand Black officers in the department wound up suing.. To date none of the officers who post up have been fired.

Where does this leave us?  Victims of police brutality are now faced with the added hardship of a shrewd PR war. At a recent meeting in support of Oscar Grant it was noted  that in the age of technology and informations new strategies and tactics have been developed. It was suggested that we up our game because the police, media and everyone had upped theirs. What that entails is still work in progress. The police are obviously honing in on PR and image repair.

An activist and spoken word artist named Ner City is trying dialogue.. I encourage folks to take a look at his piece

An Oscar Grant Supporter talking to a Johannes Mehserle Supporter

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White Cops In Philly Refer to Black Kids As Ghetto Monkeys-Black Cop Set to Sue



daveyd-raider2As you read the article below  please keep in mind several things which make this story even more disturbing. First, Philadelphia currently has a Black Mayor, Michael A Nutter  and had another mayor John F Street, a community activist and organizer who served for 8 years.  This means that the website Domelights used by white Philly Cops to post up racist rantings about the people and the communities they a re supposed to serve was launched and has existed un-challenged on the watch of two African Americans leading the City of Brotherly Love.  How is this possible?

For the past 8 years, Philadelphia has had two Black Police Commissioners, Sylvester Johnson and the Charles Ramseywho is highly decorated and currently oversees the department. How is racism this blatant amongst white officers tolerated on their watch? Do these men not have power or do these men not have backbone to stand up and shut things down? How was Johnson and now Ramsey able to lead officers who feel comfortable enough to embrace and exude the type of unconscionable racism described in the article?  Their inability to have a zero tolerance policy put in place and acted upon when such egregious behavior occurs is a stark reminder that even though we have Black faces in high places it don’t mean a damn thing for the everyday Black person on the streets of  Philly and throughout this country.  

Professor and Fox news Commentator Marc Lamont Hill came across out of control cops on the Temple University campus in Philadelphia just last week. They were making several young men drop their pants in a public place while they laughed and cracked jokes.

Professor and Fox news Commentator Marc Lamont Hill came across out of control cops on the Temple University campus in Philadelphia just last week. They were making several young men drop their pants in a public place while they laughed and cracked jokes.

As I’m reading this story, I can’t help but think about two things. First, is a situation which took place just last week around Temple University in Philly when Professor and Fox News Commentator Marc Lamont Hill came upon some out of control officers who thought it would be funny to harass several young Black men passing through the campus by having them drop their pants in public while being detained. 

Hill tweeted about the incident and described how he stood watching  the officers when he himself got confronted. The officers wanted him to leave the scene. They said he was ‘hovering ‘when Hill was actually observing which he has a right to do as tax paying citizen. Perhaps the only thing that kept him from being made to drop his pants was that he let it be known he was a professor on the campus where the young men were being jammed up.

Hill tweeted about how angry he was because after the cops let the boys go they started laughing and cracking jokes about the incident.  What made this more outrageous was they did this in front of Professor Hill- The message seemingly conveyed by these callous cops was; It don’t matter who the hell you are, we’ll do what we want.  One has to wonder if these cops went home  wrote about the incident and shared a good laugh with other white cops on the racist website Domelights.

The second thing that comes to mind, is the plight of political prisoner Mumia Abu Jamal. Year after year when his case comes up, the Philadelphia police union Fraternal order of Police #5 leads the charge to block any attempt to free him. Mumia has long talked about the insidious racism and brutality of the Philly police.  The things he’s reported on prior to going to jail over 20 years ago  and throughout his stay on death row have been met with skepticism, rebuke and disbelief by mainstream pundits who simply feel the police can do no wrong.  Perhaps these pundits need to look at the daily, pervasive racist commentary on Domelights from these White officers serving a city with a majority population of people of color and has  Black leadership which is more than unnerving. One can then ask  how much worse and in your face were these racist attitudes  under white leadership, especially when Mumia was free and having to deal with well known racist Police Commissioners like Frank Rizzo. One can only imagine it was even worse.

Lastly one has to ask, how is such conduct tolerated by the Fraternal Order of Police. You go to their website and you see they are alerting their members to upcoming contract hearings on July 24th. I didn’t see anything telling their officers to fall back and set a good example for other officers by not tolearting racism. The FOP want a new contract when they have pretty much remained silent and not reined in their members?  Pay attentions folks and lets see how this plays out.

When will President Obama aggressively address these increasing issues of police terror and the racism that is pervasive throughout many departments?

When will President Obama aggressively address these increasing issues of police terror and the racism that is pervasive throughout many departments?

In closing I will say this.. yesterday we had a huge debate on my website and facebook pages about whether or not President Obama was doing enough to address racial issues that are impacting Black folks daily. Many felt like he was on the case. Others felt like he was falling short. One of the main sticking points in our debate were these increasing incidents of police terror that are happening from Oakland to Mississippi to Houston to Trenton,  NJ with Wise Intelligent to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with Hip Hop pioneer and X-Clan member Paradise Gray. It was not lost on me that earlier this week President Obama went out of his way to offer prayer and praise to officers who were shot and seriously injured in the line of duty  while chasing down suspects in Jersey City, New Jersey. He offered prayer and praise to slain officers in Pittsburgh a couple of months ago and he offered prayer and praise to the 4 officers slain in Oakland back in March.  These things he should do.

At the same time, when is our President going to put out of control police on notice and offer solace to people brutalized by renegade cops?  When is he going to instruct his Attorney General Eric Holder to draft a plan of action to hold police accountable and make sure that there will be zero tolerance for abuse and racist behavior as demonstrated by the white officers on Philly’s police force.  

President Obama gave lots of money in his stimulus package for police-Perhaps he needs to take some of that money bback and treat the polce the way he treated the car companies. Let them know they don’t get any money until they start doing right by the American people.

Something to Ponder…

-Davey D-


  • Cops claim police message board “infested with racist, white supremacist” remarks
  • Boards reference swim club incident, calls black kids “ghetto monkey faces”
  • One post describes “no car insurance driving, bad weave wearing” black women
  • Lawsuit seeks for site to be taken down or have cops stop posting during work
  • Black Philadelphia police sue over message board, say it’s racist

    Domelights is a privately run website used by police in Philadelphia where they routinely post up racist rantings including one where they referred to Black kids discriminated at a Philly country club-Ghetto Monkeys'

    Domelights is a privately run website used by police in Philadelphia where they routinely post up racist rantings including one where they referred to Black kids discriminated at a Philly country club as Ghetto Monekeys

    (CNN) — A group of black Philadelphia police officers filed a federal lawsuit Thursday against their department, alleging an online forum geared toward city police is “infested with racist, white supremacist and anti-African-American content.”

    The suit alleges white officers post on and moderate the privately operated site,, both on and off the job.

    Domelights’ users “often joke about the racially offensive commentary on the site … or will mention them in front of black police officers,” thus creating “a racially hostile work environment,” according to lawyers for the all-black Guardian Civic League, the lead plaintiff in the suit.

    A look at the site’s forums Friday for racist comments found several possibilities.

    Reads one: “In urban areas, it seems [African-Americans] living on welfare in paid for housing is ingrained in their culture as well as fighting. … Kids, along with adults can’t speak proper English or spell at a 3rd grade level, but they can sing among “theyselves” the lyrics to a rap song.”

    Said another Domelights user of an African-American woman: “She is a classic example of that exact non tax paying, no car insurance driving, bad weave wearing, all the whitey’s are racist black women.”

    The site’s tagline is “the voice of the good guys.”

    “Every time African-Americans do or say something in our city, we get this backlash of cops who think they’re anonymous on this Web site — just racist, nasty, hurtful things about what we do,” said Rochelle Bilal, the president of the Guardian Civic League and a 23-year veteran of the force.

    The league’s attorney said other black officers echo Bilal’s statement.

    “We’ve heard the same story over and over again, which is that [African-American officers] witness in the workplace Domelights being used and discussed [in a racial manner],” said Brian Mildenberg, whose firm is also representing a Philadelphia day camp that recently gained national attention when its mostly black campers were turned away from a swim club.

    He said it was “a gift from the heavens in a way that the two things happened at once.”

    While Mildenberg and Bilal said they had been monitoring the 10-year-old Web site for years, the pool incident did seem to play into the timing of the lawsuit.

    “When they said something about our pretty, brown, young, innocent children and called them monkeys because they wanted to go swimming, that was enough,” Bilal said.

    She may have been referring to this comment posted on Domelights: “Maybe the people who work for a living didn’t want to swim with a bunch of ghetto monkey faces.”

    The lawsuit also highlights comments made on Domelights by the site’s founder and administrator, a sergeant in the Philadelphiapolice force who goes by the online handle “McQ.”

    A statement from McQ that Mildenberg described as “racially abusive commentary” reads, “Blacks and other minorities frequently don’t have the resources that white people have. Consequently, blacks may not be able to keep their vehicles inspected, registered, and roadworthy.”

    McQ is also listed as a defendant in the lawsuit. Asked why McQ bears responsibility for the racist remarks of his site’s anonymous commenters, Mildenberg said it was because “he started it.”

    The person known as McQ did not respond to a request for comment, but posted a message on the site citing the lawsuit. McQ wrote that the suit may cause the Web site to be suspended, but added his statement was not an admission of wrongdoing.

    “I categorically deny any wrongdoing on my part,” the message reads. “I did not make racist posts. I did not maintain the Web site on city time.”

    Ideally, Mildenberg said, his clients would like to see the site shut down. Failing that, they want Philadelphia police officers to be prohibited from posting comments on the site, particularly during working hours.

    The plaintiffs in the class-action suit also are seeking unspecified financial damages available under the Civil Rights Act for Philadelphia’s 2,300 African-American police officers, according to Mildenberg.

    Shelley Smith, Philadelphia’s city solicitor, said. “The lawsuit is about a private Web site. It’s not a police department Web site. It’s not operated or overseen by the police department. The allegations against the city and police department are misplaced.”

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