Today, Oriana Bolden, someone not known to this space, sent a video she created in downtown Oakland on Thursday that gives a very comprehensive view of the reactions of the crowd after the Oscar Grant / Johannes Mehserle verdict, and the events leading up to the Oakland riot.
It opens with comments from some of the mass of people that gathered at Oakland City Hall Plaza. I was there, but was struck by the number of personal media members there. About one-fifth of the crowd had video cameras of some kind. We also see a silent Councilmember Nancy Nadel as the camera pans through the crowd.
Here's the video:
Reaction to Mehserle Verdict: Oakland, CA: 8 July 2010 from Oriana Bolden on Vimeo.
The video has some shocking events, foremost being how a deaf woman was ran over by a police car. It was not clear where at all the police car was going. We see the angry crowd decent on the police car after it ran over the deaf woman. Also, the crowd tries to make room for an ambulance to get in to where the deaf woman lay at the time.
What's really good about the video is how it reveals what young black men think about the verdict and in being (in some cases) terrorized by the police. (There's no other way to describe how a number of black men feel.) It also has comments that, in this space' view, show how too many of "us" as black men give power to someone because they're white.
Thus, we have some in Oakland who refer to America as being a collection of laws "by and for white people" when in point of fact, anyone can get an initiative process going today and change the laws. That idea of the racial bias of the system is expressed in the video.
The video also has the police giving clear, loud, orders for the crowd to go home. Oriana Bolden also asserts that Old Media reports of looting were made up or exagerated. That's a bit questionable because there was damage done to property in downtown Oakland, although not anywhere near the scale of last year.
In all, it's a good video that cries for an ending. It just stops in the middle of Lindsey Comey's testimonial. Still, it's the best video of what happened after the Oscar Grant verdict that I've yet seen.
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