When a hurricane strikes the East Coast or the South, residents are warned for days ahead of time to prepare for the upcoming disaster. But out here on the West Coast, unfortunately, our disasters usually come in the form of earthquakes, which arrive suddenly and with no warning.

So it is with a rare and uneasy feeling that Californians are currently awaiting one of the few West Coast disasters which has been reliably predicted ahead of time. Except this catastrophe is not going to come courtesy of Mother Nature, but instead as what our president might call a “man-made disaster” — in this case, a riot.

Nearly everyone in the Bay Area agrees that a major Oakland riot is brewing if the verdict in the trial of policeman Johannes Mehserle, accused of murdering BART passenger Oscar Grant on New Year’s Day, 2009, comes back anything other than “GUILTY!” The problem for Oakland’s sense of security is that Mehserle is almost certainly not guilty of murder, and the jury is likely to give him a comparatively light sentence or even let him go completely.

The case has received wall-to-wall coverage in California for the last 18 months, but here’s a quick primer for those of you elsewhere in the country who may be unfamiliar with it:

In the early hours of January 1, 2009, a large group of young men got into a brawl on BART, the Bay Area’s subway system. Police were summoned and stopped the train at Oakland’s Fruitvale station, where a chaotic mass-arrest scene spilled onto the platform. As hundreds of passengers watched — many of whom were filming the proceedings with their cell-phone video cameras — several harassed BART police officers tried to subdue and then arrest dozens of brawlers. In the midst of the melee, one of the cops (Johannes Mehserle) pulled out a pistol and shot one of the men being arrested (Oscar Grant), killing him.

Sounds bad, right? Not so fast. As revealed in some of the videos taken of the incident, Mehserle was absolutely flabbergasted to see a gun when he looked down at his hand, because he had been instead reaching for his taser, which is also gun-shaped and kept in a belt-level holster. As several witnesses, including a weeping Mehserle himself, testified at the trial, the shooting was entirely accidental, and Mehserle was instead trying to tase Grant, whom he felt was out of control and resisting arrest. You can see the moment yourself in the last few seconds of the most famous video, when Mehserle looks at the gun in horror and then puts his hands to his forehead in dismay. The gestures only take a few seconds, but the entire case rests on this.

Because of public outcry, Mehserle was put on trial for murder, even though the threshold for murder was self-evidently not met in this case. Is Mehserle guilty of killing Oscar Grant? Certainly. Should he be convicted of involuntary manslaughter or negligent homicide? Probably. But a murder conviction requires proof of intent and malice aforethought — that you not only wanted to kill the victim but also planned it ahead of time. And it’s quite obvious first of all that Mehserle hadn’t planned anything, since he had never even met Oscar Grant until moments before the shooting; and that Mehserle’s distress afterwards — as well as the testimony of eyewitnesses who heard Mehserle saying “I meant to tase him!” — prove beyond any reasonable doubt that he had not intended to kill Grant at all.

For the incident to count as “murder,” these thoughts must have gone through Mehserle’s mind: “Here I am surrounded by hundreds of eyewitnesses, half of whom are filming me, as well as several policemen including my superior officer; I think this is a good time to murder a stranger in cold blood in front of everyone, just because I’m a homicidal maniac!” Highly dubious, to put it mildly.

In the court of public opinion, however, facts play a minor role. Oscar Grant’s grieving family, egged on by ambulance-chasing lawyers, radical political groups, and every race-baiting organization on the West Coast, pressed for the maximum charges against Mehserle, in a gamble for a full murder conviction, even though it was inappropriate and they had a slam-dunk case for a lesser charge (such as involuntary manslaughter). However the judge’s jury instructions, not public opinion, will determine whether “lesser included charges” like manslaughter can be considered. The trial was moved to Los Angeles because of overexposure in northern California, and it is due to wrap up in a day or two.

When it’s over and the jury comes back with a verdict — watch out. Things are likely to get ugly. Very ugly.

Rumors of a riot after the verdict have been swirling for months, and have increased exponentially in the last few days:

All over the city, there’s talk of a riot if Mehserle is not found guilty of murder or manslaughter. Flyers and graffiti are posted everywhere demanding justice for Grant. Bloggers and columnist[s] are already speculating about how deep the civil unrest will become. Rodney King’s name is tossed about and the police are getting ready to crack heads if a riot goes down.

To get a taste of the mood around Oakland, look at the photos which have been scattered throughout this post. They were taken from this YouTube video and show graffiti sprayed earlier this week around Oakland’s most scenic spot, Lake Merritt. The sentiments range from “Mehserle Must Die!” to “LA Better Get It Right! Or else!” to the chilling “Oscar’s revenge? Mehserle’s kid!” And with the words “Cops bleed too” adorning the city streets, I have the feeling we may indeed be in for a repeat of the 1992 Rodney King Riots.

What’s your take on the case and on the inevitable civil unrest that will follow, whatever the verdict may be? What charge should Mehserle be convicted of, if any? If I was on the jury, I’d vote for negligent homicide, a few years in jail, and a guarantee that he’d never work in law enforcement again. (If he’s incompetent enough to draw the wrong weapon in a stressful environment, he should not be trusted to safeguard the public.) But murder? Forget it.

47 Responses to “Forecast: Category 5 Riot Expected to Hit Oakland Soon”

  1. 1anon on Jun 29, 2010 at 7:32 pm:

    There’s zero chance it was a mistake. Zero. He went for the gun on purpose and shot a man and killed him. That’s murder.

  2. 2DangerousNate on Jun 29, 2010 at 8:41 pm:

    “There’s zero chance it was a mistake. Zero. He went for the gun on purpose and shot a man and killed him. That’s murder.”

    Even if that’s true, then why?

  3. 3zombie on Jun 29, 2010 at 10:02 pm:

    DangerousNate: Even if that’s true, then why?

    The prosecution produced ZERO evidence that Mehserle was racist, bigoted, violent, unfair or on a power trip. And they must have searched high and low for such evidence, hoping to find a “Mark Furman moment” and produce a witness to say that Mehserle hated black people or was a rogue cop or something along those lines. But — zilch. And the fact that they failed to find or produce any such evidence despite a year of searching for it pretty much convinces me that there was no such evidence to find because it simply wasn’t true.

    So, if Mehserle wasn’t a rogue cop, then why in the world would he intentionally murder someone in front of 200 witnesses? One of the prosecution’s main weaknesses was the complete absence of a motive.

    Of course, the race-baiters and Uhuru House and all the rest will claim that cops are by their very nature the embodiment of racism, and that no evidence is required to condemn any individual cop, since they’re all tools of the racist system, man!

    But in the real world you have to prove intent and malice aforethought for a murder conviction, and neither was proven, or even attempted to be proven.

    All the prosecution achieved was hammering home the point that Mehserle shot the guy – -but we already knew that going into the trial. They needed to prove that the killing was a planned murder, and they didn’t. So, barring that, all that’s left is negligent homicide or involuntary manslaughter.

  4. 4MissDirection on Jun 29, 2010 at 10:19 pm:

    “There’s zero chance it was a mistake…”

    Come on, he would have to be a complete moron, I mean like unable to spell his own name kind of moron, to shoot-to-kill a suspect while he was face down and incapacitated, on a B.A.R.T. platform on New years eve/day. Do you know how busy a B.A.R.T. station is on new years? Hundreds of people were watching, and already accusing them of excessive force. Of course, pulling his taser wasn’t really bright-idea-of-the-day either… If he had truly intended to pull his gun, I think he would’ve aimed better, and shot him somewhere non-fatal…BUT I have my questions too… I’ve watched the videos over and over and over again. This case has become an obsession of mine. (I even have “NEVER FORGET OSCAR GRANT” written in window paint on the rear window of my car.) The guy does look surprised when his gun goes off, but wouldn’t you drop to your knees crying and rushing to help the man you’d just unjustly shot? I mean god, a man has just been shot, supposedly accidentally, and look at how they treated him. Picking him up by one arm, and what-not. It’s sickening to watch… And this guy meant to pull his taser that was holstered on the other side of his hip? Really? And hadn’t he pulled his taser on another suspect earlier that evening? Maybe he is a , can’t even spell his own name kind of moron. Maybe he meant to pull his gun, but just meant to injure Oscar, but in the excitement he aimed poorly?… I just don’t know… What I do know? : The officers involved that night used excessive force. Not a doubt in my mind about that. When the whole thing starts the female officer walks up and pushes one of the guys first thing, immediately escalating the situation. And whether he meant to pull his taser or meant to injure with his firearm, this guy had no business ever having a badge EVER. He, and all the other officers involved for that matter, obviously do not know how to keep their cool in a high stress situation. He should do the maximum amount of time possible for negligent homicide, and the others should get accessory. (And as far as the claim that his taser training was inadequate, made by a defense expert witness? What the hell does that have to do with anything? He never used his taser. Did he need training on how to remember the difference between his taser and a gun?) But murder? I just can’t believe he truly meant to murder this kid. I just can’t… I think instead of riots we should all band together and demand a change in law enforcement. We should demand that they stop handing guns and badges out like they’re library cards. Demand that they take extensive steps in ensuring that those who are accepted into the police academy are people who stay calm and collected in high stress situations, not people who get excited and lose focus, and certainly not these hot-headed power hungry mongrels they seem to lean towards. BUT, my opinion doesn’t matter. Oakland WILL burn when the verdict comes back not guilty. I know, they know it, everyone knows it. I think the reason news coverage about this in L.A. has been minimal to zero is because they want to avoid statewide riots… Good luck white people of Oakland, Via Con Dios…

  5. 5MarieW on Jun 30, 2010 at 3:25 am:

    “The guy does look surprised when his gun goes off, but wouldn’t you drop to your knees crying and rushing to help the man you’d just unjustly shot?”

    I believe people react to shock in different ways, most of them so very non-dramatic and unlike what we see in movies that so many real camera footage look exceedingly “fake”. Have you ever seen videos of people getting shot or have something shocking happen to them and they sort of just stand there? I myself had stood in place, unable to react, when I do a simple mistake such as drop a birthday cake on the ground.

    If I accidentally shot a guy, I probably would have reacted like Mehserle. The brain sometimes just can’t compute what you did and the ramifications of it–that’s how shocked I perceived Mehserle was.Certainly, people who react this way to stress and shock are not suited for law-enforcement, but neither are they guilty of being thoughtless about human life.

    The others, too, were in a stressful situation and may have acted in what appeared to be a calloused manner. Playing devil’s advocate here, some law-enforcement people can tell you that there are many examples of suspects still behaving violently after being shot multiple times. Maybe they thought he was just injured and could still struggle? Maybe this was the first time they saw someone get shot and couldn’t evaluate the extent of the injury? Maybe they were all in that zone where you feelings don’t enter until the adrenaline passes?

    Basically, while the facts don’t change (Oscar got shot, he died), the motives and thoughts of the people involved shouldn’t be decided so arbitrarily with knee-jerk reactions. We can see easily how “obvious” everything is after the fact from the safety of our screens with the power of rewind and pause buttons–but things are never clear-cut in the heat of the moment.

    “And this guy meant to pull his taser that was holstered on the other side of his hip? Really? And hadn’t he pulled his taser on another suspect earlier that evening?”

    Again, I can sympathize with brain farts. Hell, even playing a game I played so many times, when I needed to press a certain button I can end up pressing another all together at a pivotal moment. And this is while playing a game, and again not in a stressful environment. So can I believe that people can make such an incredible stupid and basic mistake such as mix up left-right? Yes. This is not the first occurrence of it, nor would it be the last.

    And if it is, as you say, he pulled the taser out before–why did he switch to a gun? That makes even less sense. It actually sets the pattern that he did intend to taser Oscar, as there’s a precedent of him using the taser.

    Mistakes happen. If the prosecution, and hundreds of frenzied accusers, couldn’t find any proof of Mehserle’s intent to do murder, then it is reasonable to assume he didn’t intend to shoot anyone on purpose, let alone kill anybody. Remember, the prosecution has avenues to investigate Mehserle’s history and mental competence, from various angles, that the general public don’t, and if they couldn’t prove his dastardly racist murdering heart, why could anyone do so otherwise just from watching the video alone and news?

    And as a non-white person, I find myself wondering if it had been a person of color who shot Oscar, would the riots still happen? What if Oscar was white and his shooter of color? Would white people suddenly threaten to riot and destroyed colored people’s neighborhoods? Of course not, that would be silly. Why would white people, or even other minorities, do that?

    The fact that everyone knows there would be racially (and cop-hatred) motivated riots just proves that certain groups are widely known to be more violent than others, which one can argue is a racist thought in itself. But hey, if a group wants to perpetuate such thoughts, it’s their choice.

    What a better world, though unrealistic, it will be if we could all assume such riots won’t happen because we believe certain groups can be rational and dignified in their anger.

  6. 6Salamander Drake on Jun 30, 2010 at 7:33 am:

    This is the reason why I moved out of Oakland. Unless the verdict is the severest possible (and it won’t be), there will be riots and Oakland will wind up once again taking it squarely on the chin for an incident in which no Oaklanders were involved. Ironically many of the rioters won’t be from Oakland either.

  7. 7Jason M on Jun 30, 2010 at 7:40 am:

    Get your riot gear and your cameras loaded, Zombie. Go find some good rooftop vantage points.

    If anyone can capture the true nature of the riot, it’s you.

  8. 8nobody on Jun 30, 2010 at 7:56 am:

    all the graffiti by the same person

  9. 9David Krumm on Jun 30, 2010 at 10:02 am:

    First, I’m surprised I haven’t heard more about this. It’s not really the sort of news I follow, but I would have thought it was the sort of news I couldn’t avoid.

    Second, I’d have a hard time even punishing a guy for grabbing the wrong thing off his belt (if we presuppose that’s what happened). Everyone does that kind of thing now and then, there’s simply no way to train or think it out of existence. Fortunately, when you go to stir your coffee with your phone rather then your spoon no one dies.

    Related to that it would be nice if cops were the sort of people who are always calm or who stay calm under pressure. However, I think the kind of people who are always calm become accountants and the people who are calm under pressure becomes salesmen, managers, and (maybe) medical personnel. Cops seem to be the sort of people who want to be a part of something bigger then themselves and who tend to believe the “narrative” of any given situation. From watching Cops (the TV show) under pressure they seem to yell “Get on the ground!” and “Put your hands up!” 20 times at people who are doing nothing more then standing frozen in bug eyed surprise. But I’m not complaining, criminals seem to be the kind of people who go from bug eyed surprise to irrational violence without any warning or transitional period.

    Finally, was it a mistake? Well – I’m glad I’m not on that jury. Hundreds of hours of grainy video footage, repetitive witnesses, and meaningless conjecture? No thanks! But, I can’t picture a sane person, no matter how stupid or raciest, choosing the murder a helpless stranger on camera in front of hundreds of witnesses when they had been involved in a totally different activity one second earlier. Heck, look at how the people who do commit random mass murder go about it: they pick a time and a place, they prepare, they keep shooting until they’re dead. If he was a schizophrenic in the grip of some hallucination – maybe. But a garden verity raciest/idiot/super-jerk? No way. He poured pepper on his oatmeal instead of sugar, but it wasn’t pepper and sugar. It was tasers and guns and someone died.

    Darn shame.

  10. 10MissDirection on Jun 30, 2010 at 10:15 am:

    I can definitely sympathize with freezing in shock. I can definitely sympathize with brain farts I guess I just think that law enforcement should be held to a higher standard than us regular folk. I mean, when we press a wrong button we don’t oops kill a guy, and when we drop a tray of drinks we don’t oops treat a dying man like a dead opossum. I’ve just seen it so often, even with my own eyes, cops are just so quick to put their hands all over people, I don’t think it’s right. And I think that if the public trusts them with a weapon that can kill with the press of a button, then we should be able to trust them to be bigger and better than us on many levels, including clarity of thought… I don’t know if he pulled his taser earlier that night or not. I know there was an incident, a much more serious incident he had been involved in earlier that evening (or morning, however you want to refer to it), and I was having trouble finding the story on the net.hat’s why I left it as a question. My boyfriend suggested that maybe he’d pulled his gun earlier. Maybe he pulled his gun, and the suspect was still not submitting at which point they apparently take off the safety. I’m not sure, but he used to do private security, and had a permit to carry, so I trust what he says… Generally. Well he says maybe he took off the safety, the suspect calmed down and they got him subdued, and he returned his firearm to his holster, for getting to put the safety back, so the gun went off with out him expecting it to when he pulled it again. Still not an ok mistake for someone we trust to branish a firearm to make. I don’t think the guys should die, I think he should be held accountable. As far as how the others acted? Well they were fired for their behavior that night immediately following the incident, so I guess even their bosses thought they’d gone too far… It’s funny, I’m white and my boyfriend is Mexican and he has more sympathy for the cops involved than I do. I don’t think it’s a race issue at all personally. I don’t think this guy’s a malicious racist. I think this is an issue of police once again taking things too far, and I think it needs to change. As far as rioting? I lived in L.A. In ’92 when the riots happened. Most people thought it would blow over, there’d be some protesting and that’d be it, boy was everyone wrong. My school was shut down for like 2 or 3 days. I don’t remember exactly I was only 10. So I think as sad as it is riots are a likely possibility. Very likely. And it’ll of course further tensions and not change a thing… Maybe people in Oakland are better than us down here. I lived in the bay for ten years, it seems more peaceful, and well, advanced. After all people in L.A. Riot when our team WINS. We are obviously not capable of clarity of thought. And finally I have no idea why white people don’t react the same as other races do. Nobody protested when the “don’t tase me bro” guy was arrested. Of course he was an ass….

  11. 11Ringo the Gringo on Jun 30, 2010 at 10:54 am:

    I can remember very clearly the bottled tension that permeated the city of Los Angeles in the days and hours before the jury verdict was announced in the Rodney King beating trial.

    What zombie is describing in Oakland sounds all too familiar.

  12. 12Perpetua on Jun 30, 2010 at 11:02 am:

    We have instigators who want there to be a riot. When the Oakland community tried to hold public events mourning Oscar Grant, some bad elements highjacked the situation and tried to foment a riot.

  13. 13Stone K on Jun 30, 2010 at 11:38 am:

    I have a friend who is a rookie cop in SF and his family lives near Oakland, and I am honestly worried for them because these people don’t want justice, they want blood.

    My brother does business in Oakland I I told him to draft a letter letting his contracts know that if things get ugly he is suspending operation there until things calm down.

    No matter the verdict there will be blood in the streets I tell you that right now. And just seeing the evidence that has been released I really don’t think he is going to be convicted.

    So glad I live 50 miles away, but my new Mossberg makes me feel prepared.

  14. 14zombie on Jun 30, 2010 at 11:54 am:

    Jason M: Get your riot gear and your cameras loaded, Zombie.Go find some good rooftop vantage points.If anyone can capture the true nature of the riot, it’s you.

    53 people died in the Rodney King Riots, many of them innocent bystanders. I may be “brave” when it comes to nonviolent street protests, but I’m not suicidal: When these Oscar Grant riots erupt, I’m going to barricade myself indoors until they blow over. The chaos and violence are too much for little ol’ me.

  15. 15Ringo the Gringo on Jun 30, 2010 at 12:34 pm:

    Some footage of a small-scale riot that broke out shortly after the shooting:


  16. 16Justin S. on Jun 30, 2010 at 12:51 pm:

    I think it’s worth pointing out that all of those graphite marks have the exact same hand writing. Look at the “e” in each photo. This isn’t the work of a single pissed off miscreant. Having said that, it doesn’t rule out the possibility of a riot…

  17. 17Justin S. on Jun 30, 2010 at 12:52 pm:

    “is the work”

    Ok, I might be an idiot. :D

  18. 18John on Jun 30, 2010 at 3:38 pm:

    Zombie your a naive child, their are sick people in the world in all professions

  19. 19MissDirection on Jun 30, 2010 at 5:51 pm:

    “He poured pepper on his oatmeal instead of sugar, only it wasn’t pepper and sugar. It was guns and tasers, and someone died… Damn shame.”

    I really hope I don’t offend with what I’m about to say, because I really don’t mean to. I respect other people’s opinions, and truly love to hear them. If I didn’t I’d just blog with myself. Having said that: How on earth can you, or anyone for that matter, be so passive about such a horrible accident made by, not a civilian, but someone we pay to carry a gun, and make descisions when things get sticky? If a bus driver gets road rage and kills someone in another car, and endagers the lives of the people on his bus is it just an oops? If a teacher on a field trip gets involved with some kids getting rowdy while another wanders off and gets kidnapped, is it also spoiled oatmeal? This is a man we trusted to protect and serve (Is that what B.A.R.T. police do? I’m not sure what it says on their cars…) and he did just the opposite.We aren’t trained to always put the correct condiment on the correct food all the time, but pulling his gun (or taser) is not something he’s supposed to be doing while engrossed in today’s funnies. And yes, sometimes he’ll have to do it in highly stressful situations, but isn’t that when he should be most aware of his motions? Most highly conscious of whether he’s going to kill or shock to high heaven? *** I am really not trying to attack. I am aware that sometimes when I’m passionate about something I come off like I am, but truly, I do respect your opinion fully. Debating is fun for me***
    I have no doubt that this was an accident, a horrible, inexcusable accident. I feel bad for the guy, he’s only a year older than me. He thought he was set, had his career going, probably had a little nest egg started and CARTOON KABLOOEY it’s all gone, and hes got the blood of an innocent on your hands. I’m sure he agonizes over that moment everyday, at least I hope he does. After this his life either ends in prison (not a likely or just outcome) or he has to start from scratch. Find something else to be passionate about, go back to school, probably move far away from the bay and Napa the home he’s always known, as I doubt he’d ever get any kind of peace living anywhere near there. Sad, but you know, he was negligent. Horribly negligent, and just as a drunk driver has to go to prison if he kills someone in an accident, Mr. Mehserle should have to face consequences as well. Because he didn’t spoil someone’s day with a fender bender when he hit the gas instead of the brake, he aimed to harm and instead he killed… How should he pay? effed if I know. I am certainly glad I’m not God on this one, because it’s a toughy. The hardest part to swallow is that judging from the little bit of him we see in action that night, he doesn’t seem like an aggressor. It’s Pirone who’s is being violent. In fact I don’t think anyone else is at all violent until the moment Mehserle shoots. If it had been him and his partner first on the scene, I’d be willing to bet the situation never would’ve escalated to where it did. Neither here nor there I suppose… And as far as calm clear minded people becoming accountants and managers? I know cops have to have a certain power of presence, they have to be a certain amount of untrusting & must command respect . I just wish that we could some how change standards and do more to ensure that they were not people who get all red faced and frustrated, not people who get hyped up and lose their train of thought. I wish cops were people who commanded respect with mere presence. Badge and gun or no. You know the type. The guys, and ladies, who you just don’t cross just because… People who don’t get all “gotta prove I’m better than you” when their authority gets challenged. Or, “Holy cats what do I do what do I do, what the sarg say in training?! Oh God what’d he saaay?!” People who walk a smooth line, no matter what’s thrown at them, talking you into cuffing yourself the whole way… When I’m pope of the earth I shall make it so. All cops will be Jon Wayne & Captain Kirk. Not The absent minded professor and Chris Benoit… Alas, nothing we write really matters cuz I don’t know who’s makin’ the rules, but it ain’t us…

  20. 20Justin S. on Jun 30, 2010 at 7:31 pm:

    @MissDirection: You misunderstand. This post by zombie wasn’t about the killing, itself, it was about the insane public reaction to the killing. The man made a terrible mistake, and should pay for that mistake… but the public wants blood. They want the state to commit revenge on their behalf. That wouldn’t be justice – that would be state-sponsored murder to placate the public.

    If the choice is between state sponsored murder of American citizens and a riot that might kill hundreds, how do you choose? Do you stand for Justice or mob lynchings? Setting the precedent for tyranny or watching a city burn.

    In the end, the rule of law must win out of emotionalism.

  21. 210verlord on Jun 30, 2010 at 8:15 pm:

    I was in Oakland this afternoon, and couldnt help but notice that the toll on the bridge is going up on the same day as the verdict .The town looks the worst I have seen it in over 40 year thanks to the inept leadership of mayor Dellums .
    I hope the National Guard gets called in quick this one is gonna be bad.

  22. 22MissDirection on Jun 30, 2010 at 9:20 pm:

    Riots, not good. Not good for anyone. And they will solve nothing. Only further tension, hate, and fear. A chance to really make a difference with a great example leading the way would be spoiled and turned into another example of why police act with justice when they do things like this… Not “justice” exactly, but… It just gives them a leg to stand on…

  23. 23MissDirection on Jun 30, 2010 at 9:24 pm:

    Sorry Zombie, I had kinda gone off into my own stuff there. I just really love discussing stuff like this, and not having a lot of friends I’ve about bored my bf to death with it. And I just discovered this whole blog phenomenon… Maybe I should start my own haha….

  24. 24zombie on Jun 30, 2010 at 9:54 pm:

    MissDirection: 23MissDirection

    Not to worry: Blog comment sections are all about having a good rant. That’s what they’re there for — to give people a place to vent their feelings. Not everyone has to agree on every point, either.

    New to blogs? Hard to imagine there are people out there not familiar with them, but it takes all kinds, I guess! You will soon discover that there are over a billion blogs in existence, on every imaginable topic. Pretty overwhelming. All you can do is pick a few favorites at random and evolve your way to your preferences over time as you learn of new ones.

  25. 25AnonCommenter on Jun 30, 2010 at 10:35 pm:

    Notice that that graffiti was not done by stupid Oakland thugs. It was probably done by a white “organizer” type person. How many Oakland thugs can correctly spell “Mehserle”? How many use constructions like, “So-and-so must die”, or a construction using the word “revenge”, correctly spelled? Does that look like experienced graffiti handwriting? How many high school dropouts spell “too” correctly in a context like that (“cops bleed too”)?

    This was done by some white college-educated “anarchist” from Berkeley probably.

  26. 26Starless on Jul 1, 2010 at 4:18 am:

    I find myself wondering if it had been a person of color who shot Oscar, would the riots still happen?

    I doubt white or black matters. Blue: that’s the color that matters. It’s been a while since the anarcho-Communist Left has had a big war protest and now they’ve found the pretext to vent their unending, furious rage.

  27. 27Justin S. on Jul 1, 2010 at 10:53 am:

    @AnonCommenter: Your likely right on that. One college-educated anarchist from Berkley or Davis. Not that it will take much to push a pissed-off mob into a riot, so we’ll see. Glad I live 100 miles away.

  28. 28blangwort on Jul 1, 2010 at 6:34 pm:

    Pray for peace. Appeal to the religious among the crowd. It is the jury’s job to decide a verdict from what they have seen. Even Rodney King, the supposed victim, begged the public with his famous words “Can’t we all just get along?”

    If there is a riot in Oakland, it is because there are other things going on there and this is trial is a smoldering cigarette dropped in a puddle of gasoline. Are there any indications of who is egging this situation on?

  29. 29David Krumm on Jul 1, 2010 at 7:53 pm:


    I can be passive about this accident because I do not believe accidents like this can be prevented. Here’s my logic.

    Everyone makes minor kinesthetic mistakes (and grabbing something something off the wrong side of your belt is minor). Lets say that happens every 10,000 actions or so. A certain percentage of actions are life or death. Let’s assume 1 out of every 10,000 actions is life or death. That means that 1 out of every 100,000,000 actions kills someone even though no one had the slightest intent of it happening. Most of those people die in car accidents when someone turns the wrong way, or hits the gas when they should have hit the break.

    So which part of the equation do we eliminate? Should it be impossible to do something that could kill someone? Should we get rid of all the vehicles, and all dangerous equipment, and all weapons? Of course not, far more people would die if we lived with stone age technology then if we live with the occasionally dangerous equipment we have.

    Ok then we’ll just declare people can never blank out and do the wrong thing again. Good luck. It’s not how the brain works. You might as well declare no one is ever allowed to forget anything again, or that we should just all no longer smell the sent of oranges. It’s not absentmindedness or lack of training that makes us screw up now and again, it’s neurochemistry. Training decreases the frequency of errors, but it can’t eliminate all of them.

    As to “cops should be better”. Again, that would be great if we could make it happen. But the kind of person who’s interested in police work is frequently a little pushy and might not mind mixing it up now and then to see that things happen the “right” way. What else would we expect out of a group of people who use force to assure laws are followed?

    And, finally, (presuming the shooting was an accident) isn’t this guy now the best trained cop on the surface of the planet with regard to gun safety? Every time he draws his weapon forever more he’s going to think twice. Why take him out of the force now? Send him on tour! Get him to teach classes!

    In short, some accidents are accidents and they don’t become negligence just because the results were really bad. Now was this an accident or was it negligence? I’m not on the jury and I haven’t reviewed the evidence so I don’t have to answer that question. I’m just saying, if it was truly an accident, it doesn’t become something else because someone died.

  30. 30Ringo the Gringo on Jul 2, 2010 at 6:45 am:


    When the “Rodney King riots” broke out it was just as much a response to the Latasha Harlins trial. South Central was already simmering as it awaited the King verdict. This is why many of the rioters headed for Koreatown, looting and burning Korean-owned liquor stores.

    The first 4 or 5 hours of the rioting was pure rage in response to both the King verdict and the lite-sentence in the Harlins case. But the rioting spread out across the city for three days. Ultimately most of the people who participated in the Los Angeles riots were motivated by nothing more than the desire to loot stores and get free stuff.

  31. 31Ringo the Gringo on Jul 2, 2010 at 6:45 am:

  32. 32Common_Sense on Jul 2, 2010 at 3:18 pm:

    I was born and grew up in Oakland. I remember when the fire burned 3500 homes in 1991 and the blacks in Oakland, and some city council members, “civil rights leaders”, etc rejoicing that whitey got burnt out. or is is burned out – I am after all an aged former pot smoker. But I digress. Then the same race baiters (as mentioned above) that will ignite and incite riots today, were in horror when the city of Oakland suddenly lost it’smost valuable homes and their property taxes and the city was broke. The above still wanted “whitey” or “rich whitey” to keep paying. Sorry, I moved out in 1996 and don’t feel too sorry for those that are left. It’s like my former neighbor, a “Palestinian” who no longer feels sorry for the savages he left behind when he emigrated to America in the late 70′s. “common_sense” he said, “all that’s left are terrorists and radicals and let them all die”. I almost feel the same way about Oakland. It should be burned down and, like New Orleans, never rebuilt. I now live so far away that I no longer feel the urge to maintain or carry heavy weaponry and sleep better for it at night. Oakland, I loved you but don’t give me those avenues (to the theme from Green Acres). The remaining, and perhaps unspoken question is: are the media going to gin up “competition” among the large city’s ghettos to create nationwide urban riots like during the Rodney King riot days ?

    I remember CNN switching from city to city and trying to get the residents to outdo one another with riots. Herb is in Atlanta Herb, tell us how many buildings are burning in Atlanta ?
    thanks Cindy, we have over 1400 fires now and 24 cops hurt
    Bob in Detriot checking in: wow Herb, that’s awful but painfully weak compared to the Motor City. We’ve had 56 cops hurt, 3 killed and 2300 buildings on fire……etc…..
    Only Oakland had no riots or bloodshed, any not many know why.
    Because Oakland is so heavily armed and on edge any given day that no one dared loot as they be shot by the gang that controlled that given block. Today though, those gangs are going to be involved because they saw one of their own taken by what they see as a bigger gang, OPD.

    Zombie, you’re wise to stay away from the fray.
    The city by the bay is going to pay.
    and that’s what I have to say.

  33. 33J on Jul 3, 2010 at 5:22 pm:

    i have to be honest here… my sympathy is not with oscar grant. this cop made a tragic mistake. shit happens. but here’s a belated tip for mr. grant – don’t fucking break the law and get into public brawls, and this situation would not have happened.


  34. 34Starless on Jul 4, 2010 at 4:51 am:

    J: don’t fucking break the law and get into public brawls, and this situation would not have happened.

    OIC. So when you go loot some local business it’ll be Oscar Grant’s fault. That makes sense.


  35. 35incognito on Jul 4, 2010 at 8:02 am:

    Hi Zombie! Thanks for keeping us informed in areas that MSM is avoiding until is too late…

  36. 36Macker on Jul 4, 2010 at 10:32 am:

    zombie, I’m sure you have friends in Oakland. I hope you all keep your heads down!

  37. 37MissDirection on Jul 4, 2010 at 1:47 pm:

    First of all another thought on riots anyone in Oakland considering it might also want to ponder:
    Besides it only making tension and police violence against citizens worse. THE MAN WILL BE USING YOUR OWN TAXPAYER MONEY TO FUND EFFORTS AGAINST RIOTS. I’m sure Oakland gets money from richer, surrounding communities there in Alameda county, such as Peidmont, and Berkley (still Alameda yes?). Don’t give those effers an excuse to raise the cost of a parking ticket 300%. “No, see, we’ve gotta do it, cuz those riots put us in the hole, and now the childrens hospitals are sufferring.” And the kids in the hospital will still be getting watered down robbitussin, while some political fat cat refurnishes the game room of his million dollar house in Marin.

    @ Ringo
    THANK YOU for posting the wikilink to Latasha Harlins. No one ever remembers Latasha. The (I’m sure severely edited) video of her death shocked me as a child. I had never seen anything like that before. I think many outside of L.A. don’t know that she added a lot of the fuel to the fires than day…

    @ David Krumm:
    I think you may misunderstand my point. I believe the guy employed to stand at the red button should not ever ever accidentally hit the red button, and he should also be the guy least likely to ever get excited and have such an accident. I do not expect the guy employed to stand at the red button to never put the remote to his ear when the phone rings. I expect people to make mistakes, but I’m not talking about people as a general, I’m talking about officers of the law. Officers of the law when they’re on duty in fact… Not even just on duty, when they are in a situation; when they are reaching for any tool on that belt. If he could do this is it not possible he could draw his walkie instead of his gun, and potentially miss the opportunity to save a life? The headline “Gunman gets away after officer fails to incapacitate him, drawing his walkie talkie instead of his firearm.” would be pretty disturbing. On the same note, “Man spends extra night in jail because officer forgets to sign paperwork” eh, it sucks, but people make mistakes… I don’t expect a bus driver to never get a little road raged on his way home and cut someone off in his personal vehicle. I expect him to have a little more self control when it involves the lives of passengers trusting his driving skills.
    I also don’t feel that, under the assumption that this was a tragic mistake, Mr. Mehserle deserves the life of fear he’ll be living after all of this. In jail he’ll be in a special unit, away from the general population, and for the most part pretty darn safe. He’ll have hours to wonder if his fiancee and children are safe. Hours to wonder if his parents have received another “mysterious package” on their door step. And freedom won’t be freedom for him, he will spend the rest of his life, or at least the next 20 years, looking over his shoulder like a paranoid tweaker. And having a panic attack every time his fiancee is late coming home from work. An accident born of negligence is still an accident, no one should be treated as the anti-christ for making a mistake. And most certainly no one should have the lives of their children threatened, or their moral standing questioned for being imperfect.
    Police have to be held to a higher standard, otherwise we’ll end up with a bunch of over empowered guerillas doing as they please. Cops have it pretty good, they put their lives on the line to protect us, and in return they get paid well. They get benefits we all dream of, and when they die their wives continue to receive a paycheck. I don’t think it’s a full paycheck, but it’s a paycheck. And, as it should be, they volunteer their safety in exchange for ensuring ours. It’s an honorable post. It should also be tough as nails to even get into the academy. L.A.’s finest (using L.A. as an example) should with out a doubt be the best of the best of the best. Brains and braun in an even keeled natural leader. Of course I know that this may leave us with a police force of 5. Hence my statement that when I become pope of the world I’m going to make John Wayne and Captain Kirk police officers. I know that kind of cool problem solving and effortless leadership are probably pretty hard to come by… I wonder if the dog whisperer is looking for a career change… But maybe if the action hungry officer Pirone, who has been revealed as the instigator of the escalating tensions that evening, hadn’t been there making everyone tense, none of this would have happened. And two men wouldn’t have lost their lives…
    As far as Mr. Mehserle being the most well versed in gun safety now? Yeah, I don’t think I’ll be taking advice from anyone who doesn’t even remember pulling his gun. Mr. Mehserle even had his taser out moments before he pulled his gun and fired. He said in his cross examination by prosecution that he had it out as a means of intimidation. He was only on the platform for something like 2 minutes and 47 seconds before shooting Oscar Grant. The guy who forgets which side of his body he keeps the taser he had out maybe a minute and a half before he goes to pull it out again is not what I would call the picture of safety intelligence. Not to mention, he says he thought Oscar Grant was going for a gun because he was moving around his right arm but not giving it up. His right arm was pinned under himself and on top of his friends leg. And when asked why if he thought Oscar had a gun and was reaching for it he didn’t yell GUN GUN GUN” as they’re trained to, he said it didn’t cross his mind. He also says just before he fired he told officer Pirone to stand clear because he was gonna tase, and when you tase someone any one touching the tasee also gets jolted. In a moment of absent minded flurry he didn’t think to warn any of his comrades of a possible threat to their lives, and he took all hands off someone he thought had a gun? Yikes! Not to mention, no way would I want this guy as my partner after this. He is never going to pull that taser *or* gun with out second guessing himself. He will never react on instinct again, (which is probably good I don’t think his instincts have proven to be very reliable) and hesitation can be fatal in law enforcement.
    So, I haven’t been swayed, but it’s been interesting hearing another side. Let us both be glad that we’re not in any position to decide this mans fate. It’s much easier to speculate from the sidelines…

  38. 38common_sense on Jul 4, 2010 at 3:15 pm:

    MissDirection: tell us, do you smoke crack every day or just before you rant and ramble ?
    making tension and police violence against citzens worse ?
    what ? please illuminate on the what/how/why on this
    the man is going to fund efforts to stop more riots ?
    and this is “bad” to you why ?
    you like riots ? oh yes, I forgot
    you support justice for Oscar Grant and even sport a sticker in that regard
    do you even pay taxes ?
    have a job ?
    Oakland gets money from richer surrounding cities ?
    I am assuming you get some sort of government handout from richer taxpaying citizens ?
    cops do make mistakes all the time and they die as a result
    jailers LET PEOPLE OUT BY MISTAKE too, not just keep them another day by accident
    doctors make mistakes and people die, yet they don’t go to jail
    vehiular manslaughter does not always carry a lengthy sentence, many accidents do not
    copy have it good ? come on, they don’t get that stellar of pay compared to the risk of life and lawsuit with every stop they make. They have various citizen and “civil rights” groups monitoring and harrassing their every move as well as fellow officers trained to turn them in for the slightest misdeed in dealing with suspects or victims in a compassionate and professional way. That situation at BART was many people “misbehaving” in greater number than the cops that showed up. How wold you feel walking into a situation like that where you’re outnumbered and you could get overwhelmed by not only the original crowd but a growing crowd of angry locals. Again, look at the number of citizens in Oakland that are armed (and the homicide rate, then look at how often cops get shot). Every action they take can cost them their life or job and as a profession it is getting very hard to find people, good people, willing to take on the responsibilities without rewards. Just like our pussified military and the rules of engagement they face.
    Also, someone needs to remind you that the Rodney King riots were not confined to Los Angeles. They happened in every major city in America, except Oakland, for the reasons I stated earlier.

  39. 39Dave R. on Jul 4, 2010 at 10:32 pm:

    IF it mattered, which it doesn’t, I’d vote for manslaughter or negligent homicide with the very maximum penalty and no parole. None of this “few years” crap. Cops aren’t better than the rest of us, and don’t deserve more of a break if they “accidentally” kill someone. Even a truly accidental fatal shooting requires a negligent failure of safe gun handling.

    “Mehserle was absolutely flabbergasted to see a gun when he looked down at his hand, because he had been instead reaching for his taser, which is also gun-shaped and kept in a belt-level holster.”

    If you choose to carry, or your job requires carrying, two gun-shaped objects on your belt, one lethal and one less-lethal, then you damn well train until you know the difference. By his own admission, Mehserle is criminally incompetent and fully responsible for the consequences of his actions. Conceivably the departments training standards are sub-par, but since that just gets you into the circular logic whereby the officer didn’t do anything wrong because he followed protocol and the trainers didn’t do anything wrong because they followed the book, and the training doesn’t need altered because it follows the best practices of law enforcement, and it turns out a certain small amount of innocent civilian breakage is acceptable since police officers say they meant well, do jobs the rest of us wouldn’t and deserve our full support, I am beyond caring. Police officers need to be held accountable legally.

    I am tired of hearing, “oh, the poor cop didn’t mean to kill anybody, he’s the real victim here” in negligent shootings. I provide for my own personal protection and I take full responsibility for the consequences of my actions and I expect the same of public employees.

  40. 40Dianna on Jul 4, 2010 at 10:46 pm:

    MissDirection: And the kids in the hospital will still be getting watered down robbitussin, while some political fat cat refurnishes the game room of his million dollar house in Marin.

    MissDirection, I strongly suggest you rethink that.

    Children’s Hospital Oakland is a very fine organization, doing work that breaks a lot of hearts.

    Screw your political point, which is both idiotic and astonishingly cynical at one and the same time. Go volunteer at CHORI, if you’ve anything resembling the courage of your convictions.

  41. 41MissDirection on Jul 6, 2010 at 5:24 am:

    Wow DAVE and DIANNA you guys are absolutely the rudest souls I’ve encountered as of yet.
    I do not receive hand outs from anyone. I work very hard for all the money I make, and do not qualify for any kind of government handout. I also don’t make enough money to indulge in a crack addiction. Yes I pay taxes, just like anyone with a job. And Oakland does receive tax money from surrounding richer cities. That’s kinda the way things go, the residents of beverly hills pay taxes, and the money is used to fix potholes downtown. The money gets spread around the county, or the state, or the country depending. I mean, that was my understanding.
    How will a riot heighten tensions? It is simply my opinion that when you act out in violence it gives people the impression that you are prone to… Uuummm act out in violence. Riots won’t change anything for the better. At least I don’t think. I would think they’d put law enforcement more on edge. I could be wrong.
    I also understand that all people of all professions and walks of life make mistakes all the time. The person staying in jail an extra day was just an example of a situation. I didn’t say it never happens the other way, I didn’t even say it DID happen, I said IF it did happen it would be an example of a mistake that wasn’t really a very big deal. I do feel law enforcement is a very honorable post, which is why I already said so. I don’t think it’s nuts to think they should be held to a higher standard than the rest of us. I do think they shouldn’t accidentally kill people. And I’m not talking about every single situation a cop has ever accidentally killed an innocent person. I’m referring to absentmindedly grabbing their firearm instead of their taser. I don’t know if MR. Mehserle should do jail time, or how much he should do, or what exact punishment is or isn’t appropriate. I don’t have all the answers which is why one person of one opinion doesn’t make these kinds of decisions. I have no idea what the officers that night were feeling or thinking, as I have no training in crowd control, or in dealing properly with possibly dangerous people. They do have that right? If not they totally should, and maybe that’s the root of the problem. I never once said they make too much money for what they do, or argued that they should not be rewarded, I actually kind of said they were well deserved in everything they get. I guess maybe I didn’t say it clearly enough. And if you don’t think there are cops who abuse their power, well I would have to disagree. But, again, I’m willing to see another side.
    The “Rodney King Riots” happened all over the country was not something I realized I should have stated. I didn’t realize that I’d said that it was ONLY IN L.A. and nowhere else at all even knew or cared or anything. I don’t really see how anything I said called for me to refer to each city’s individual reaction. All I was trying to say was that a lot of people, younger people specifically, here in Los Angeles have never even heard the name Latasha Harlins, or don’t remember ever hearing it, and I think it’s kind of sad. People here weren’t just angry about Rodney King. This does not mean I think that lady should’ve gotten punished more seriously. I am not in any way stating any kind of opinion about the outcome of that trial. I just think kids in L.A. should know about it, and how it affected the situation. I suppose kids everywhere should know about it, and if I ever refer to the L.A. riots again I will be sure to also include information about places I wasn’t going to talk about even though I have no idea how much the Latasha Harlins case was a part of their anger, or how they felt when it happened, and it doesn’t pertain to anything that I’m saying.

    I wasn’t taking a dig at the hospital, I was taking a dig at the way the government will say they’re raising taxes to benefit something that people see as a good cause, and then never actually follow through with the funding doing God knows what with it. I guess that doesn’t happen in the bay area. Man, you guys are lucky. Just a couple years ago in L.A. the mayor duped us into voting for an increase in the trash tax to hire X amount of new police officers, and then he hired, like, a quarter of what he said he would, and the rest of the money just *poof* disappeared. And when specialty auditors were sent in to find out what happened he gave them the run around, refused to produce all kinds of paperwork… It was a big mess. At least that’s the info I read, I’d be willing to read articles proving otherwise. That’s not the first time I’d read about things like that, they raise this tax for public education funding, they raise that tax for firefighters wages, and yet somehow firefighters still get their pay cut, and public schools are still turning music rooms into storage closets while the city spends a million dollars *OR HOWEVER MUCH IT WAS I DON”T REMEMBER EXACTLY* on Michael Jackson’s funeral. Maybe that doesn’t ever happen. Maybe I’ve misunderstood everything I’ve read about it. I’ll have to go back, read some articles over again.
    And this idiot does volunteer. 40 hours a week at work, and 10 or so hours a week at a kennel. I’m sure you’ll think I should spend my time on more worthwhile things than stupid dogs, but that’s what my cause is. Some people have breast cancer, some people have children’s leukemia, I choose the unwanted pets of my city. *Not to say I exclude pets of other cities, or that L.A. is the only place with a pet population problem. Spay and neuter your pets no matter where you live. It is a nationwide, actually, worldwide problem* There, phew, maybe I avoided another insult about not mentioning places that have nothing to do with what I’m talking about. I do not think I am better or worse than anyone for the cause I choose to spend the most time helping, nor do I think less of anyone who’s cause isn’t for animals but for people, or isn’t for mammals at all but for the environment. I actually don’t think I’m better than anyone, or worse than anyone… Well, that’s not true, I am better than Ken Bianci, I am worse than Ghandi. **Both of those lists do include more people. Those are not the only two people in the world ever that I feel I am better or worse than. They are just two examples**

    So, you two lovely lovely creatures, I don’t feel either of you understood what I was saying, and I think it’s sad that you felt the need to lash out so awfully. I try to make it clear that I just have opinions, and that I am not only willing but eager to hear other people’s opinions, or facts they’ve collected. I thought this was the kind of place where people did that, exchanged ideas and what not. Maybe not. I hope your goals were to hurt someone’s feelings, and present yourself as utter donkey sphincter’s, cuz goal accomplished. I’m sure how I feel is at the very bottom of the list of things that matter to either of you, but you both really made me feel like crap. I thought we were all having fun exchanging thoughts. I guess not. Sorry if I offended anyone. I really am, it was not my intention. I guess I really just look like a big jerk, or crackhead apparently.

    Oh, and one last thing, DAVE & DIANNE; if you ever decide to not just attack someone’s character completely, but to actually show them a different side, or something they didn’t know or hadn’t thought of, I wouldn’t do it like that. Coming at a person claws out does not make them want to listen let alone take into consideration a single word that comes out of your mouth, or read a word out of your keyboard, or whatever. It actually closes them down completely, and hurts your cause. At least in my experiences, but I could be wrong… And I’m sure you weren’t trying to show me, an idiotic crackhead, anything but how stupid I am, but I just thought I’d mention it, in case you thought it was ever going to be a useful tactic when talking to an intelligent sober person whose opinion differs from your own. Although I’m sure you’d never dream of being so utterly disrespectful to anyone who didn’t deserve to be treated that way.

  42. 42MissDirection on Jul 6, 2010 at 5:28 am:

    Oh, and just because I am pretty infuriated as well as hurt Y TU MAMA TAMBIEN you self righteous lint lickers, may you get ingrown toenails on every one of your toes, and a stye for each eye as well…

  43. 43J on Jul 6, 2010 at 6:58 pm:

    OIC. So when you go loot some local business it’ll be Oscar Grant’s fault. That makes sense.

    that was illogical. i’m not sure how you arrived at that from anything i said. i said oscar grant has responsibility for his own death, for participating in a huge public fight and creating a dangerous and nerve-wracking scene in which any nervous police officer is bound to make a mistake. people need to stop QQing over dangerous criminals. he was not some innocent guy in the subway station – if he hadn’t been putting hundreds of people in danger, his death would not have happened. the police officer should get the same punishment as any other person guilty of accidentally killing somebody, and the people wanting to riot over that guy’s death should get a hard kick in the ass for being such crime-loving douchebags.

  44. 44KKK on Jul 8, 2010 at 6:16 pm:

    Nigs will look for ANY excuse to bust up their own back yard. I can’t believe this is near me. I wasn’t a racist guy till I lived near Oakland, now I am a full on White Sepratist.

    Blacks are scumbags, they should just gas the group right now.

  45. 45Rick on Jul 9, 2010 at 6:36 am:

    MissDirection – you’re exactly right; He made a really terrible mistake. In our penal code, he is guilty of either manslaughter or negligent homicide, both of which may be jailable offences and are certainly nothing trivial. He is NOT innocent of all wrongdoing, but he IS innocent of the charge of 1st degree murder. To give him 1st degree for this crime would be a gross error on the part of our legal system, as that crime is reserved for premeditated murder with clear intent, which is clearly not what happened.

    I don’t think anyone could legitimately argue that he is completely innocent, but he is innocent of 1st degree murder, which is what a lot of people have been calling for.

  46. 46MissDirectionallychallenged on Jul 14, 2010 at 4:30 pm:

    @ Rick
    Glad someone’s on the same page as me. It’s like a lot of people think there was no middle ground here. The guy IS guilty of being negligent and causing a death. I don’t know how anyone could argue with that point. But 1st degree murder? Gimme a break. You’d have to just completely ignore logic to think he was guilty of that. I would actually love to hear the supporters of a Murder conviction attribute some logic to that conviction. It seems like theirs is a purely emotional argument… You’d also have to completely ignore logic to think anyone could kill someone, and just walk away scot-free. Causing a death is not the same as putting mayonaise on your bagel instead of cream cheese.

    Really? Be real now, classless trash is not a quality strictly reserved for black people. Trash comes in all colors, and takes all different forms. Why only hate trashy blacks? What about Katie trailor trash raising her five kids on welfare and turning her head when her meth addicted boyfriend goes into her 12 year old daughter’s room at night? Is she somehow better? I don’t know where you live, but I’m assuming it’s near Berkeley, take a trip down to the college side of telegraph. There’s black college students quietly flipping through cd’s at Rasputins while dirty white kids take up space on the sidewalk outside rudely insulting anyone who ignores their invasive begging. This is just an example, I’m not saying there’s not crazy rude homeless black people wandering around on Telegraph, or that all beggars are rude. I’m just hoping maybe you’ll take into consideration that racism is somewhat ignorant when you take a gander at the shallow end of your own race’s gene pool.

    Well, category 5 riots they were not. I can’t decide if the strong and overly defensive police force in Oakland the day the verdict was read made things worse, or if maybe things would have been worse if they hadn’t been there… I do find it a shame that people were looting. How is that justice? Justice would be finding out what steps need to be taken to ensure that something like this never happens again.. Some idiot having a brand new pair of Nike’s does not vindicate a death. At least I can’t see how it does, maybe someone can enlighten me. I can’t see what point it proves. I thought they were pissed at the police and the lack of justice in the justice system. Shouldn’t they have been at city hall, instead of the mall? (Actually, I think they did start out at the the court house or police station or somewhere of relevance, and then they got moved. But still..) If you realy think this guy’s just a racist prick, who’s getting away with murder, and you really feel violence is the only justice, why not blow up police cars, or set the court house ablaze or something? Something that will actually affect the people you’re mad at. Why destroy a footlocker and steal shoes? Why why why? In one video I watched of the raid on footlocker there are flyers with Oscar Grant’s picture printed on them in the gutter, being stomped all over. Way to respect the dead y’all. I have to wonder how many people participating in that mayhem even knew why they were there. If I had been out there passing out flyers with a picture of Robert Guillaume printed on them, and was screaming “FREE BENSON” I wonder how many people I could’ve gotten to chant with me. I wonder if even one person thought, “Hey, I’m gonna steal some little girl shoes and send ‘em to Oscar’s family for his poor little girl who is now without a dad.” I bet not even one of those idiots for even one split second thought about…. Well, anything at all besides themselves. I bet half of them stole shoes that didn’t even fit them. You don’t have time to really check out what you’re grabbing in that kind of situation. I hope at least one of those thuggy type idiots got stuck walkin’ around Oakland with an armload of, like, size 6 cleats or something… Asshats…

  47. 47LOL on Aug 7, 2010 at 8:40 am:

    Wow Zombie is associating with full blown racists with names like KKK. You have really sunk low since your little green footballs days.