Oakland Murder Case to be Reviewed by Federal Prosecutors
During the 1960s and ‘70s, civil rights cases were routinely tried in federal courts because redneck juries kept acquitting their fellow inbreds of arson, lynching and other good ol’ boy fun.
In 1992 the feds had to take over the Rodney King case because California jurors acquitted four LAPD misfits of clubbing Rodney King 56 times in 81 seconds.
And now federal prosecutors are investigating the involuntary manslaughter conviction of an Oakland transit police officer who shot and killed a suspect pointblank. The more things change…
On New Years Day, 2009, Officer Johannes Mehserle shot and killed Oscar Grant as he was lying face down on the ground (as Grant had been ordered to do, by other transit officers). I did a post on it at the time; the linked article and YouTube video aren’t available any more.
Mehserle claimed he thought Grant was reaching into his pockets for a weapon, so he fired what he thought was his Taser. Only it turned out he was firing his gun instead. WTF??? Does that police department have an IQ test for new applicants?
There was some rioting in Oakland (and Tacoma) after yesterday’s involuntary manslaughter verdict. (Nothing like the L.A. ‘92 riots.) Referring to the protests and riots, the Oakland Police Chief said, “This city is not the wild, wild West.”
Really? Trouble is, on January 1, 2009, Oakland WAS the wild wild West.
Maybe, someday, police departments will get tired of having federal prosecutors coming in and cleaning up after them. They might even raise the qualification standards for new applicants. HINT: a low IQ and a quick temper are NOT enough.