Tuesday, January 13, 2009
This is a dramatically fast development, since it was reported that Alameda County District Attorney Tom Orloff wasn't expect to take action until this Friday at the earliest and BART spokesperson Linton Johnson asked for everyone to let the process move forward.
Here's my video report with more below:
Whatever the case, the incident has attracted every law enforcement official from California Attorney General Jerry Brown, to the Department of Justice on Monday.
My bet is the investigative report BART Chief Gary Gee turned in to Orloff had something to do with this lightening fast action. But also Officer Mehserle himself essentially wrote this ending when he refused to give a statement, "taking the fifth" regarding why he shot Oscar Grant in the back, then resigning from the police force , the shooting a sight captured by New Media, and rapidly spread around the World.
This is Gary Gee:
I think BART Board Member Lynette Sweet owes BART Police Chief Gary Gee an apology and a medal. It seems it was his report that had a central role in the apprehension of Officer Mehserle, who separated himself from BART by resigning and thus making him a private citizen.
My concern is what charge did Orloff bring? One of my viewers explained that in the case of a "louisiana guy who killed a Japanese kid" the person was charged with first-degree murder, but there was nothing to back that case, so he won and walked free. In this case, the video is powerful to be sure, but what will a jury do? Why? The charge should be something less than that given the circumstances, like manslaughter and not involuntary.
That remains to be seen.
More on this news as it develops.
What's most important is he was able to talk about how Oakland can achieve a possible future as a great city, and how people can and should get involved in the process. You can hear the show below:
Dellums released a report by Public Financial Management Group, a Philadelphia firm owned by former Oakland City Manager Robert Bobb, which Dellums described as a "call to action" for his vision for making Oakland a model city - a place with a robust economy, safe streets and healthy residents who are engaged in their community.”
-- I've only skimmed over the report thus far, but you can take a look at it right now. Just download it here:
At the BART Community Meeting held Sunday January 11th Alameda Co Supervisor Keith Carson criticized the BART Board for the timing of the meeting, BART Board's Carol Ward Allen to issue this response explaining timing.
"On January 12, 2009 a group of demonstrators gathered at the United Plaza, in San Francisco to protest over the fatal shooting by a BART police officer of Oscar Jullius Grant, an unarmed young Afro-American man,. The incident occurred on New Year's Day at Fruitvalle BART Station, in Oakland and it was witnessed by standing bys and others BART commuters from a distance. Fortunately it was captured by multiple eye witness cell phone's cameras.
BART completed the investigation and now Oakland District Attorney takes over to determine the charges regarding this case."
The Oakland Chamber of Commerce has long been a major resource for Oakland business. Supporting the Chamber via membership or donation is very important. The problem is -- according to sources -- that the Chamber's events did not reach their expected revenue levels.
Of course, the best way to fix that is via good viral online marketing . I'm sure there's some celebrity the Chamber's hosted that would be great fodder for a cool video set, among other things!
Johnson and Mataresse were interviewed on KTVU news along with Domenick Weaver, president of the local firefighters association, about the rotating brownouts which will begin at the end of this month.
Last week, the City scrambled to respond to assertions by Save Our City! Alameda in a TV ad that the City is on the path to bankruptcy, as evidenced by the City’s inability to avoid the brownouts, outstanding lawsuits against the City, and the City’s plans to subsidize SunCal’s project at Alameda Point to the tune of several hundred million dollars.”
San Francisco police in riot gear quickly moved in and closed off streets as the crowd broke up into smaller groups, scattering in all directions.
No arrests were reported.”
-- And I'm not sure if this constant drumbeat is going to help. The courts are the best way.
This week's event, scheduled to start at 4 p.m. Wednesday in Frank H. Ogawa Plaza outside Oakland City Hall, is part of a national day of nonviolent protest over the New Year's Day death of Oscar Grant III, 22, of Hayward, at the hands of Officer Johannes Mehserle, 27, in the Fruitvale BART station. The shooting was captured on video by several onlookers, and has caused consternation around the world.
Gatherings also are planned for Wednesday in other cities, including Pittsburgh, Pa.; Columbus, Ohio; Little Rock, Ark.; and Erie, Pa., according to a Web page hosted by the Oakland-based Ruckus Society , a nonprofit that teaches nonviolent protest and civil disobedience methods to activists.”
-- I'm not sure if all of these protests are a good idea overall. It could dilute the overall message. But I could be wrong here. The link to the Ruckus Society web page was by me and not the Tribune. More about them soon.
BART Board's Lynette Sweet said BART Police did not explain that they talked to Officer Johannes Mesherle until Sunday. What Gee said is here. BART also has not posted an apology to the Grant Family on its website.
At Sunday's BART Board Committee Meeting, Alameda County Supervisor Keith Carson took the mic and let lose, expressing his frustration with the BART Board and the slow pace of the investigation into the matter of the murder of Oscar Grant.
Carson was particularly upset that the meeting was held on a Sunday at 2 PM, when community religious leaders were either in church or just getting out of church.
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