Dec. 31, 2008 Oakland, CA: On this New Year's Eve, 22-year old Oscar Grant was shot execution-style by transit police officer Johannes Mehserle. He was shot in the back while lying face down on a subway platform, unarmed and restrained by other officers.
The shooting was caught on film by commuters waiting on the BART platform. The video presented here is EXPLICIT.
The gun shot that killed Mr. Grant is recorded at 01:26 on the counter.
Despite such damning video evidence, it took nearly two weeks for the District Attorney to arrest Mehserle and charge him with murder.
In 14 years as Alameda County District Attorney, Tom Orloff had never before charged a police officer for an on-duty shooting. And when asked, several legal experts were unable to come up with any examples of officer-involved shootings becoming murder cases in California.
The DA admitted that it was only due to massive public pressure that he moved even at that pace, pressure that included more than 20,000 people speaking up after this video was distributed via email by the organization, ColorOfChange.org.
Johannes Mehserle's arrest is important, but it's only the first step. In cases like this, history has repeatedly shown that as soon as the public eye turns away the prospect of justice fades.
Oscar Grant's family and survivors deserve to see justice carried out. Making sure the prosecution does its job and pushing for much-needed reforms requires all of our voices.
Add your voice here: http://www.colorofchange.org/oscar_update/?id=2515-253960
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