CA - Oscar Grant, 22, fatally shot by BART officer, Oakland, 1 Jan 2009

Discussion in 'Recently Sentenced and Beyond' started by Blue_Dolphin308, Jan 15, 2009.

  1. Blue_Dolphin308

    Blue_Dolphin308 We can't help everyone, But everyone can help some

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    http://www.ktvu.com/video/18425287/index.html


    I don't know of if anyone is following this, but its a situation that has been ongoing, the officer is now charged with murder. and is awaiting extradition from Nevada.

    Multiple protests are going on, because this man was shot in cold blood, while face down on the pavement, with hands in handcuffs. Many are turing out for peaceful protests, but they later turn violent.

    "OAKLAND, Calif. -- Former BART police officer Johannes Mehserle did meet with investigators probing the New Year’s Day fatal shooting of a Hayward man but chose to invoke his Fifth Amendment rights against self incrimination, officials said Monday.

    BART general manager Dorothy Dugger and transit police chief Gary Gee told an afternoon news conference that Mehserle was questioned within three hours of the fatal shooting of Oscar Grant III, but quickly asked for an attorney, refusing to cooperate."

    http://www.ktvu.com/news/18464504/detail.html
     
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  3. Blue_Dolphin308

    Blue_Dolphin308 We can't help everyone, But everyone can help some

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    I am suprised this is not getting any discussion!
     
  4. lizzybeth

    lizzybeth New Member

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    I've been following the story. I was dumbfounded when the officer said he thought he was pulling his tazer out of its holster and not his gun. Number one (and I realize the adrenaline was probably high), couldn't he tell just by the feel between a gun and a tazzer. Once he placed it on the young man's back didn't he notice that it wasn't his tazer. Didn't any of the officers try to tell him or at least move it away once they saw it was the gun? So many questions. I don't buy that it was just an accident though.
     
  5. joga

    joga New Member

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    I have been following this case closely. It is crazy, the whole thing! I have mixed feelings about it. After watching the videos, the look on the officers face makes me believe that it was an accident. He looked shocked (to me) when the weapon was discharged, he recoiled more than someone who knows they are shooting a gun does, and he looks around confused at the other officers etc. That said, I have no idea why he felt the need to pull anything in the first place. Some have speculated that he thought it was his tazer, but there were plenty of police there to subdue Grant. He did look like he was resisting, but not to the point where the officers couldn't control him. Of course, I wasn't there and don't know what was going on either.

    His actions after the shooting make me angry. Refusing to meet with investigators or pleading the fifth when they did talk to him really left them with no choice but to charge them with murder as they did. I believe ultimately, he will be convicted of some form of manslaughter. I believe he does need to pay for what he did, accident or not.

    As for the rioting, it makes me mad because I feel like it undermines whatever point people are trying to make. Not to mention, people are destroying their own communities. On the flip side, notice how the media didn't bother to show up and have people's voices be heard UNTIL the riots started. At least that is the only coverage I saw.

    This is a horrible situation all around!

    One last thing, lizziebeth, where did you see that he said that he thought it was his tazer? Everything that I have read has said he has made no statements or reports whatsoever. I believe the tazer thing is speculation...
     
  6. chicagofa13

    chicagofa13 New Member

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    I have been following too, but since WS is really pro LE I didn't want to bring it up (I am not anti LE! Just think this deserves prosecution, which might not be popular here). IMO this will go second degree.

    Lizzybeth, I thought in the video I saw he drew the gun and fired from a distance of a foot or so?? Didn't lean over and put it in his back.

    Right now I am not buying the "I thought it was a tazer" story. There was NO reason to taze the young man on the ground, restrained, hands behind his back and with another officer on his neck. Very sad and very big step back for LE in that community.
     
  7. chicagofa13

    chicagofa13 New Member

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    Joga, just read your comments more thoroughly. I don't think he was resisting. Even if he squirmed a little, is that really "resisting"? The other young man against the wall is within inches of him. There wasn't a lot of room to move.

    I agree about the riots, some people feel that is the only way to make a point.

    I also haven't heard of any statements from the cop. IMO he is going to use the tazer excuse no matter what. What else can he say??? Watching the video is so surreal. I had to watch it several times and still couldn't comprehend I just saw a man shot in the back by a cop. I guess it is a small blessing he didn't see it coming, although I think he might have lived for a little while since one eyewitness said he was in obvious pain.
     
  8. joga

    joga New Member

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    chicago...the reason i said it looked like he was resisting was because it looked to me like they were having trouble getting his hands out etc. and it took the two of them to keep him down. That's just the way I see it from the videos, and other than the fact that he shot him in the back, the videos are so open to interpretation.

    that's funny about not wanting to put it up on this board because i did the same thing! i really wanted to hear what people here had to say, but I didn't want people to think I was le bashing, esp. being a newb!

    and you are right, he was standing up when he shot him. so sad....all around.
     
  9. lizzybeth

    lizzybeth New Member

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    joga,

    I heard it on the television. It was after it first happened, before the riots. After the officer started getting death threats is when I think he decided he should take the fifth and get a lawyer. I suppose if I only heard it on television then it doesn't necessarily make it fact. I can go back and try to find a link.
     
  10. lizzybeth

    lizzybeth New Member

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    I went back and looked for a link but could only find ones where people are discussing that they think that might have been his excuse. No, it didn't come directly from the officer. There's a big discussion about it on snopes.com. One of the posters says that the feel of a tazer gun is much the same as a glock. Still (and I didn't view the video because I knew I wouldn't be able to get it out of my head), if he was standing away from the young man as you guys have stated then he couldnt have possibly thought it was his tazer. Doesn't a tazer have to come into contact with the body?
     
  11. MeoW333

    MeoW333 New Member

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    Okay, the stun gun you have to have direct contact with the person, touch them with it. A tazer you can fire at them and be up to 15 feet away. Tazers shoot out wires that are connected to barbs that attach to the person you shoot it at to taze them.
     
  12. MeoW333

    MeoW333 New Member

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  13. SLP

    SLP New Member

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    I have watched the video several times and it is shocking. I don’t understand how it could have been an accident. The victim had his hands behind his back and was restrained. There was another officer that was kneeling on his back. There were many other officers there standing around. I don’t see why a tazer or gun needed to be drawn at that point… much less fired!

    I also don’t see why he would have shot him in cold blood though purposely setting out to murder the victim and ruin his own life. He was in a public transit station, there were other officers around (and one was kneeling where he shot the victim) and a crowd of bystanders that were yelling at them and filming. None of it makes any sense to me.

    I wonder if the officer just snapped? His adrenaline was flowing, the crowd was yelling, he felt threatened and scared and he just snapped. Not everyone can handle the mental strain of being a cop. I would be interested to know if he has any other incidents of over reacting (another words: flipping out on people) in domestic situations or other stressful situations that were not reported. That still does not make a lot of sense to me but it is the only theory that I can get on board with right now :confused:.

    Such a pointless shooting and too many lives ruined over a split second decision. I feel sorry for the family of the victim and the family of the officer.
     
  14. lizzybeth

    lizzybeth New Member

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    Thank you, I didn't know that the difference in how a stun gun and a tazer works.

    I think he snapped too. He was angry and his adrenaline was high. He may have never been in a situation like that. Of course, there are some police officers that seem to think they can get away with doing stuff like that. They don't care if anyone is watching because they're the law.
     
  15. cinsbythesea

    cinsbythesea New Member

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    I've been pretty obsessed with this case and was surprised it wasn't on Weblseuths sooner. When this story originally broke it was that a cop had shot a restrained victim - pretty appalling. But then they started releasing the videos and the cop looked surprised/stunned after the shot. So I thought okay, it was not intentional. My SO is former LE and he said the taser feels similar to a gun - so giving him the benefit of the doubt I thought given the stressful situation he was in he reached for the wrong weapon and made a tragic, fatal error. However, given the fact that he refuses to cooperate and hasn't said one word about that night to any investigating office - I'm wondering why that is. If it was an accident why not try to mitigate some of the damages and say it was an accident? Clearly he did it - just explain what happened. But nope - he's keeping his mouth shut. What's really sad is he has a newborn baby - born just a day or two after this incident. I want to know what was in his mind when he shot Oscar Grant- and we may never know. Like Scott Peterson - if this goes to trial- he could never say a word and we'll never know. As far as the rioters, sadly there will always be those factions who use any excuse to vandalize and loot - and this situation has provided it until the next one comes up.
     
  16. cinsbythesea

    cinsbythesea New Member

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    There is a man who has come forward and alleges that this same BART cop along with a few others beat him up when he made "disparaging" remarks about cops in earshot of these guys. I'll see if I can find the article. The guy says that the cop had a "you can't touch me" attitude - whether his story is true or not I think is still up in the air. I've had only one dealing with a BART cop - I was waiting to pick up my daughter out front and unbeknownst to me I was in a handicapped slot- this late 20-something cop pulls up along side of me and motions for me to roll down my window and then proceeds to give me a haughty lecture about where I was parked and that he could or could not issue me a $275 parking ticket and he was trying to decide should he or shouldn't he issue the ticket. Typical cop attitude. So rather than be snarky and give him a bit of his own attitude back I apologized for having parked there and threw the ball back in his court. He let me swing in the wind for a few seconds and then said he wouldn't be writing me a ticket today but he knew my car now and would be on the lookout and wouldn't be so nice the next time. Jerk. Rather than say what I wanted to say I rolled my window up and waited for him to go so I could leave the parking area - instead he sat there while I had to jockey around him to get out of the slot. JERK. Thankfully that was my one and only experience. Now after that longwinded vent I'll see if I can find the article from the other guy alleging Mehserle used force on him...
     
  17. cinsbythesea

    cinsbythesea New Member

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  18. gitana1

    gitana1 Verified Attorney

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    I have also been following the case closely. My brother lives in Oakland. The cops there have a reputation for brutality against blacks there, but it is usually not caught on tape. The officer has just been charged with murder. From reports I heard earlier, the young man was trying to tell his companions to do everything that LE said. He also begged them not to taze him. Perhaps that gave the officer the idea? The guy seemed scared of the cop. I heard no yelling from the crowd on the tapes I have seen, at all, until after the shooting. I can see that the young man would be nervous if LE there is notrious for police brutality. The tapes are grainy and it all happens fast. I did not really see a look of shock on the officer's face. It went too fast and it was too grainy to make out but narration accompanying one of the vids states he looked shocked so I think that puts that impression in people's minds. He stood up, took out his gun, aimed, and shot at the guy. He then looked at his fellow officer for one second and then you could not see his face. The guy killed has a four year old. The officer who killed him just had a baby. It looked like an assasination to me. It's a tragedy for everyone involved but this officer does need to go to jail, IMO. Otherwise, how can LE maintain the public's trust? He could have mistaken it for a taser as some are saying, but they do have a different weight. If this is really what happened, then there needs to be some serious changes in the use of tasers, the type they use, if they can be used, etc. I read a report that the introduction of tasers has increased the incidents of police brutality. What a sad, sorrowful mess.
     
  19. cinsbythesea

    cinsbythesea New Member

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    I have viewed the tapes through several different news sites and I wish I could remember the particular news site that I viewed in which there was one that was a little clearer and you can see the cop in question looking down at the gun after he made theshot and then had this look on his face like what the h***? I'd LOVE to hear what those cops that were right there had to say to the investigators but we'll probably never know, as well as the poor kid who was just feet away and watched the cop shoot Oscar Grant. Either way - he did shoot Oscar Grant- intentional or not- and he has to pay for that. And the people were taunting the cops - both on the platform and from the BART cars - lots of loud, intoxicated people as it was early New Year's morning- a pretty chaotic scene. If you watch the raw video on KTVU's website - you'll get an idea as to how it sounded. As for my bold on your words- it really is just so sad- two young families torn apart because of this. And its incited an awful lot of simmering anger- as I'm sure your brother can attest to.
     
  20. SLP

    SLP New Member

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    Hmm… maybe the tape you watched had the volume muted before the shooting? Was it from a TV station? I don’t know. Check out some raw footage. There are a lot of recordings out there and all that I have watched you can hear how loud the crowd is. For instance this one



    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QK1DXQRQ5ZU&feature=related

    The crowd is so loud I can't hear the difference in the volume before the shooting and after. Another interesting thing is that depending on whose recording you are watching (and where they are in the crowd) the crowd around seems to be upset about different things. The first recording I saw the people around them seemed to be yelling "That's not fair!" and such before the shooting. Originally I thought it started after the shooting but it was a good two minutes before the shooting happened. Then another recording people around the person filming seemed to be more upset about not being let on the trains. In that recording it seems, to me, that people were egging on the situation. Either way it seems the crowd was pretty large (possibly had some mob mentality going on?) and yelling long before the shooting happened.

    I completely agree with you that it looks like an assassination. I was shocked watching it. I am not trying to say that the crowd yelling excuses his behavior at all and I still think that he should be charged with murder. A lot friends work in law enforcement and they are used to people being upset with them. It is their number one gripe about their job but it is part of the job. No excuse to pull out a gun and shoot a restrained person in the back :furious:!

    I guess I am just trying to find any reason why he might have snapped and did something so brutal and, frankly, stupid. It still does not make sense to me. What story, on here, does though :( ?
     
  21. SLP

    SLP New Member

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    Thanks for the link! Interesting stuff. I think that police misuse of power usually has an escalating pattern (caused by the bad apples getting away with it and/or having their co-workers cover their back) and, if that report is true, he has a history.
     

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