Justice is not blind and it certainly is not about equality. Some lives are understood to be more valuable than others because we live in a society that is about divisions and not community. Oscar Grant was in handcuffs lying on the ground on his stomach, when former BART police officer Johannes Mehserle claimed he confused his taser with his service weapon and shot and killed him. Because we live in a digital age, the entire incident was recorded, thus making it difficult for the blue wall of silence to descend but Mehserle still had Whiteness on his side. It is important that people watch the video and remember exactly how Oscar Grant’s life was snuffed out.
If that were not enough, there were reports of police brutality and suppression when the public attempted to protest. From start to finish, the justice system has let down Oscar Grant, and the Black community. Today in a final act of callous injustice, Johannes Mehserle is due to be release from prison after serving less than a year for manslaughter.
The former officer is scheduled to be released sometime Monday, said Cephus Johnson, Grant’s uncle. He said the family has been notified by state and local law-enforcement officials.
“Of course it’s painful,” said Johnson, 53, who lives in San Jose. “We knew it was coming one day. But as it approached, there were more sleepless nights.”
He called Mehserle’s release a reflection of “the total injustice that we received.”
Johnson said he and other family members plan to be in Los Angeles over the weekend and on Monday to protest.
Mehserle’s attorney, Michael Rains, who is appealing his client’s conviction, declined to comment.
Mehserle testified he thought he was firing his stun gun instead of his pistol as he was trying to arrest Grant for allegedly resisting an officer. The case drew widespread outrage, prompting the trial to be moved from Alameda County to Los Angeles. The jury there acquitted Mehserle of murder.
Oakland police say they are prepared in the event of protests when Mehserle is freed. They said they did not expect violence, but that officers would respond based on the behavior of demonstrators. (source)