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The historic Mehserle Court trial has begun: the first time in California history where a law enforcement officer is being tried for Murder charges in a line-of-duty shooting.
Video reveals footage akin to an execution style shooting by white BART Police Officer, Mehserle, in the killing of a young black man, Oscar Grant.
The murder of Oscar Grant trial has finally reached Court-public outrage and protests have moved the trial to hundreds of miles south from the Bay Area, where it occurred in an Oakland BART station, to a Los Angeles, Southern California, Courtroom.
The young black man, Oscar Grant, was shot while lying facedown on a BART public transportation station. At the Fruitvale Station BART stop in Oakland, California, Johannes Mehserle--a white BART station police officer--shot the young black man with a gun, at close range, and while Grant was laying facedown in the BART station.
The Oscar Grant shooting was caught on video by passengers who accidentally and unfortunately became witnesses, of what they did not know would turn to murder--apparently concerned about the possibility of police brutality or abuse, BART passengers had already been utilizing cell or mobile phones at the BART platform, to begin taking video footage of the moments and actions of police officers before the shooting--which then, strangely and for reason unknown, turned to gun shot and immediate death or murder of Oscar Grant.
The first mobile phone video, with its existence known by the police, was confiscated from the passenger by BART police. The other video showing the murder, taken by a passenger who is remaining anonymous, has been subsequently released to the YouTube video platform and is included here, attached; the Grant video is graphic.
Grant's attorney has stated that there is intent to file a 25 million dollar wrongful death suit in relation to Grant's killing by the white BART Police Officer--now a former officer. Following the shooting, BART police actually confiscated the only video, taken on a mobile phone, that held footage of the murder. An unidentified man held a second mobile phone video, attached here for viewing.
BART Police Chief has asked the public to remain patient and additionally stated that he knows that police on scene--at the BART station--felt outnumbered. The video scene seems unexplainable. Several young men are lined against the wall, sitting or on the ground, of the BART station--while BART police officers surround them, either standing or kneeling. Mehserle is no longer a BART officer following his shooting of Grant.
Frankly, the video footage-at least-makes the scene appear very similar to an execution style killing. Grant is shot by the officer at close range, and for what appears as no reason to spur use of a hand gun. There is no attack or assault by the detained passengers, that can be seen on the video.
During the first several days of Mehserle's Los Angeles Court trial, the video of Grant's shooting has played again and again--forcing Grant's family to painfully relive his final moments again and again in Court. While the crime was committed in northern California, in the city of Oakland, the Court trial of former transit officer Mehserle has been moved all the way to southern California--to Los Angeles.
Massive protests and intense media scrutiny in the Bay Area have raised the race question, and whether the shooting of a black man--by a white transit worker--was intentional or accidental. Those questions also raise the question as to whether Mehserle would be able to get a fair trial or unaffected jury pool, in a city where media exposure concerning the incident has been so widespread.
Prosecuting attorney, Alameda County Deputy District Attorney David Stein, says Mehserle's training and discipline were overridden by anger and aggression when he shot Grant.
Defense attorney, Michael Rains, says the Grant shooting was a tragic accident, that Mehserle meant to shock Grant with a Taser, not shoot him with his gun--despite the fact that a Taser and gun are seemingly not easily confused. In the Los Angeles closed courtroom, cameras, cell phones, computers and even audio recordings have all been banned--in efforts to bar a media circus involved with the trial.
Los Angeles Judge Ronald Perry ruled against a media request to televise the Mehserle shooting case. This also means that the trial has remained virtually unheard of by much of the public, including a vast portion of Southern California or Los Angeles, where the trial is actually being held--the Mehserle case has possibly been kept too quiet by the media in the region.
Meanwhile, the Bay Area awaits verdict in a trial that has just begun. June 1st, family, friends, and community activists gathered in front of Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O'Malleys office in Oakland--demanding vigorous prosecution of Johannes Mehserle and justice for the murder of Oscar Grant. June 14 starts the full first week in a trial that currently has unknown duration.
The Mehserle trial is absolutely historic: the trial for Grant's murder represents the first time in California history that a law enforcement officer has been tried for murder in a line-of-duty shooting. Preconceived motions-and anger over the Oakland shooting-has Oakland public believing that the Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge, Judge Robert J. Perry, has granted a number of requests from Mehserle's defense attorney Michael Rains--whom the community believes fear hold intent to shift blame in Oscar Grant's shooting, for his own murder.
A jury for the Mehserle trial was selected last week, a final jury that includes no African Americans; the long-awaited Mehserle murder trial start began with opening court statements June 10th, just days ago.
Opening statements included Alameda Deputy DA David Stein declaring, "The shooting of Oscar Grant was the result of [BART police] emotions taking over. It [the Grant shooting] was the result of aggression taking over for training and discipline." Stein asked jurors, “What happens when an [police] officer believes he has the right to mistreat, abuse people in a public setting?"
On June 14th, the beginning of the first full week of trial, the LA Coalition for Justice for Oscar Grant made an "All Out to the Courthouse" call, with hundreds of people turning out to rally for justice.
The people of Oakland are ready for the trial to be over, and want their verdict: a mass community gathering is slated to occur at the 14th Street and Broadway intersection, to begin at 6pm on whatever day the Mehserle verdict is returned.
While shown at a distance, please remain aware that the attached Mehserle video clip does show actual footage of the Oscar Grant gunshot and killing or murder that occurred at the Oakland-area BART station.