Oscar Grant Update, June 4: Mehserle to Stand Trial

The cop cover story didn’t work. They thought that they could get away with it at a preliminary hearing. They thought wrong. Cellphone video doesn’t lie. Let former Judge LaDoris Cordell explain it all for you.

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The victim’s family, seated in the courtroom when Judge C. Don Clay made his decision to bring former BART officer Johannes Mehserle to trial for the New Year’s shooting of Oscar Grant III, was overcome with emotion.

“This is going to be huge for people of color,” Cephus Johnson, Grant’s uncle, said outside court. “The community lacks faith in the judicial system when it comes to police officers.

Among his other misgivings about the behavior and state of mind of the defendant, Judge Clay “also said Grant and four friends who were detained with him at the station for allegedly fighting on a Dublin-Pleasanton train ‘did nothing to justify the use of deadly force.'”

In contrast, Mehserle showed little emotion when Clay read out his decision. His father, though, seemed to have plenty to say within earshot of reporters.

[…E]arlier in the day, as Clay pushed defense attorneys to wrap up their case, Mehserle’s father reacted angrily and suggested the hearing had been unfair.

“No justice in Oakland,” said Todd Mehserle, a Napa resident, loud enough for reporters who were in court to hear.

“They want to see what they want to see. This town is a sham.”

What proved to be a sham was the cover story of the BART police officers who were witnesses to the shooting.

[Prosecutor David] Stein played video footage Thursday that called into question the actions of the officer who detained Grant and made the decision to arrest him for allegedly obstructing police.

The officer, Tony Pirone, testified earlier that Grant had belittled him for being a transit officer and called him a profane name.

Stein’s video clip appeared to show Pirone mocking Grant before his arrest by leaning in near his face and shouting the same profanities back at him. Then, when Grant is forced to the ground, someone can be heard shouting, “Yeah!”

Stein said it was Pirone, though the officer said he didn’t remember.

“I don’t know why I would say that,” Pirone said of the exchange. “That’s not language I would normally use.”

Ha. I think people know already what language these guys are capable of on police radios, talking with each other, and in worse actions.

The elder Mehserle, from what some bloggers have gathered from parsing through some websites, may be a wingnut who has a marked distaste for people of color.

Johannes Mehserle remains free on $3 million dollars bail. He is scheduled to return to court June 18 for his arraignment.

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~ by blksista on June 11, 2009.

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