Although most of the nation’s news cameras were pointed at the brouhaha that was the LeBron James “decision” and the fallout for the city of Cleveland they almost missed Oakland, whose residents were reeling from the sham verdict in the Oscar Grant murder case.
White BART officer Johannes Mehserle was caught on video fatally shooting Oscar Grant, who was Black, in the back on New Year’s Day 2009 in Oakland. Grant was unarmed and restrained in handcuffs.
Two weeks later, Mehserle was charged with murder for the shooting by Alameda County prosecutors. He pled not guilty. Mehserle held that he meant to grab his taser but mistakenly shot Grant with his pistol. The all-white jury seemed to agree with him.
Yesterday, the jury returned verdicts of not guilty of the more serious charges of second degree murder and voluntary manslaughter but guilty on the lightest charge of involuntary manslaughter, which carries a sentence of two to four years in prison in California. The sentencing date is set for August 6th.
Upon hearing news of the manslaughter conviction, rioters up and down the West Coast trashed businesses, police cars and other property in protest.
The Rachel Maddow Show gives a great rundown in the video below.
“I am against the Grant decision, but tearing up your community is dumb and irresponsible. It achieves NOTHING. What in the hell does looting a Foot Locker do? Are u going to use those Nikes to march to the voting booth? Or get on juries?”- Journalist Roland Martin
“It was nuts in Oakland last night w/ 83 arrest, but the main looter is still at large.. We wanna know who looted our justice system? Windows will get repaired next week & merchandise replaced..What about our justice system? When and How will that be repaired ?” -Journalist Davey D
In the footage below, rioters are seen trashing a local Foot Locker in Oakland.