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Columbus, OH (NOV. 29, 2016) ~ USA -- Knife weilding suspect Abdul Razak Ali Artan was almost immediately shot by OSU police officer Alan Horujko. Horujko was immediately hailed as a hero by mainstream media. Horujko is perhaps a hero for ending a serious threat. However, it appears that mainstream media is not telling the entire story. Most significantly, several of the students injured during the attack were injured by Horujko’s poor marksmanship, not by Artan’s knife.
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"Murder, Rape, Lies, & Cover-ups!"


OAKLAND, Calif. -- (WCJB) ~ United States California officials fear dozens may have died in a massive fire that swept through an Oakland warehouse where a concert was taking place Friday night. Nine people have been confirmed dead, and dozens of others remain missing, officials said. In a news conference Saturday, authorities said they expected the death toll to rise, but they did not know by how much. “We’re expecting the worst — maybe a couple dozen victims here,” Sgt. Ray Kelly, spokesman for the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office, told reporters. “We did not have a lot of victims go to the hospital,” Kelly said. “It appears that people either made it out, or they didn’t make it out.”

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EL CENTRO, CA (WCJB) ~ United States The El Centro Police Department said it's investigating a video that shows officers using force on a suspect who put several people in danger Tuesday afternoon. The video shows officers beating 23-year-old Elizardo Saenz, an El Centro resident. It also shows a K-9 police dog attacking Saenz. (Click here for video)


Oakland, CA (WCJB) ~ United States -- A sex scandal involving Oakland police officers and a then underage girl has all the makings of a TV thriller. The saga is full of twists and turns. The scandal erupted months after Officer Brendan O'Brien committed suicide. O'Brien left a note spilling the details, including names. Three Oakland officers were placed on paid leave. A source said O'Brien in his suicide note confessed to exchanging messages with a young woman who goes by the name Celeste Guap. However, the note says he did not have sexual contact with her. The same sources said she has met multiple officers. In the note, O'Brien named the officers, including one sergeant, involved in the alleged sexual misconduct with Guap. Guap is the daughter of a Oakland police dispatcher. The police investigation will look at whether Guap was under age during some of the encounters with officers. (Click here for video)


New Orleans, LA (WCJB) ~ United States -- On September 4, 2005, New Orleans police received a call from an officer at Danziger Bridge reporting gunfire. Several NOPD officers—including Sgt. Kenneth Bowen, Sgt. Robert Gisevius, Officer Anthony Villavaso, and Officer Robert Faulcon—arrived at the scene in a Budget rental truck. They proceeded to open fire with assault rifles and a shotgun on an unarmed family, the Bartholomews, who had been walking to a grocery store and were then sheltering behind a concrete barrier. 17-year-old James Brissette—a family friend—was killed, and four other people were wounded. The police shooters stated that while approaching the bridge, they had been fired on by civilians, and were forced to return fire. Homicide detective Arthur "Archie" Kaufman was made the lead investigator on the case. He was later found guilty of conspiring with the defendants to conceal evidence in order to make the shootings appear justified, including fabricating information for his official reports on the case. NOPD lieutenant Michael Lohman also encouraged the officers to "provide false stories about what had precipitated the shooting" and plant a firearm near the scene. (Click here for video)


Aiken, S.C. (WCJB) ~ United States -- A horrifying new dashcam video shows at least one white member of the Aiken, S.C. Police Department search inside a black man’s rectum for the apparent crime of being a passenger in a car with paper tags, which, it bears noting, is not a crime in the state of South Carolina. Driving a car with paper tags isn’t illegal either, as long as they aren’t expired. The car belonged to a woman named Lakeya Hicks, who had the paper tags because she had recently purchased the vehicle. Hicks’ tags weren’t expired, and a check on her license came up clean. However, the cops didn’t let her go. (Click here for video)


Brooklyn, NY (WCJB) ~ United States -- When an unmarked police car drove very close to mailman Glenn Grays in Brooklyn, Grays shouted at the car. Four plainclothes officers got out of the car and started to handcuff him. Grays initially tried to resist, and one of the officers said “Stop resisting! You’re going to get hurt if you don’t give me your fucking hands.” (Click here for video)


Fresno, CA (WCJB) ~ United States -- (Warning Graphic Video) Fresno Police shoot and kill mentally ill man within seconds of exiting their patrol vehicle! (Click here for video)


Royal Oaks, MI (WCJB) ~ United States -- Another case of police brutality in the city of Royal Oak. The man doesn't resist at all! The reason for his arrest remains unknown. It appears as if the officers wanted to rip a limb off of him! (Click here for video)


San Francisco, CA (WCJB) ~ United States (Feb. 29, 2016) -- Cops CAUGHT ON CAMERA brutally beating man. When they realize they've been FILMED they try to confiscate the camera and ID the guy recording them. WATCH the video and see how well that went for them. SPREAD THE WORD! THIS IS HOW YOU RESPOND when a VIOLENT COP tries to take your camera! CALL Internal Affairs Division, 415-837-7170 and ask them why their officers BEAT people and then ILLEGALLY try to confiscate evidence of Police Brutality? (Click here for video)
Chowchilla, CA ~ United States -- Tyler Hormel, arrested by Madera County Sheriff''s Office on Monday (Feb. 8, 2016) and accused of sexual misconduct with a minor, has been fired from the Chowchilla Police Force, and charged with sexual misconduct. (Click here for video)
Marion County, Florida ~ United States -- A federal grand jury in Tampa has indicted a former Florida sheriff’s deputy on charges of violating the civil rights of an unarmed Black man, who was brutally beaten after surrendering to him and other officers following a brief chase last year, reports Reuters. Former Marion County sheriff’s deputy Jesse Terrell, 33, is accused of using excessive force against Derrick Price during the incident in August 2014 that was captured on video, according to the indictment handed down late Tuesday. Four of Terrell’s former colleagues pleaded guilty to the charge after accepting a deal, according to media sources. (Click here for video)
Wake County, North Carolina ~ United States -- Shon Demetrius McClain died from blunt force trauma to the head and neck 13 days after prosecutors say he got into a fight with officer Markeith Council in Wake County, North Carolina.(Click here for video)
New York ~ United States -- Opening statements and testimony began this week in the long-awaited trial of New York City police officer Peter Liang for the killing of Akai Gurley, an unarmed 28-year-old African-American man walking down the stairs in his apartment building, part of the Louis H. Pink housing projects in the East New York section of Brooklyn. Jury selection in the case was completed last week. Gurley died more than 14 months ago, on November 20, 2014, as two cops were making a “vertical patrol,” checking the stairwells in the high-rise building. As Brooklyn Assistant District Attorney Marc Fliedner put it, opening the prosecution’s case, “Akai Gurley is dead today because he crossed paths with Peter Liang.” Liang was indicted by a Brooklyn grand jury on manslaughter and other charges last February, and both prosecution and defense agree on the immediate events that led to Gurley’s death.(Click here for video)
Oklahoma City, OK ~ United States -- Daniel Holtzclaw has officially been sentenced for the rape and sexual assault of 13 Black women in Oklahoma. Will serve the rest of his life behind bars. He was sentenced to 263 years in prison. Holtzclaw, 29, was convicted in December of 2015, on 18 of the 36 counts he had been facing — including four counts of first-degree rape. (Click here for video)

United States -- Police officers physically outmatched by a combative male, resort to taser use. (Click here for video)

Chicago, IL -- Surveillance video (Click here for video) in connection with a Chicago police officer's fatally shooting 17-year-old Cedrick Chatman was released today by attorneys for the teen's family. A federal judge ordered the release of footage showing the 2013 shooting today after the city withdrew its objection to its being made public. Chicago police officer Kevin Fry fatally shot Chatman Jan. 7, 2013, in broad daylight during a foot chase, according to court records. Chatman’s family had fought for the video to be released as part of a wrongful death lawsuit they filed over the shooting against the city, Fry and Chicago police officer Lou Toth, who pursued Chatman along with Fry during the foot chase. Family members have argued the video will counter the city and police’s narrative that the 17-year-old was a danger to police. IPRA concluded the officers' actions were justified because they reasonably believed Chatman was armed at the time.

Brooklyn, NY -- A newly-released surveillance video (Click here for video) contradicts an undercover NYPD police officer who arrested four people in Brooklyn for allegedly trying to rob him on Dec. 26, 2015, according to a defense lawyer. Jean Scott, 33; Peterson Duplan, 28; Ricardi Joseph, 29; and Samantha Dabel, 24, said that they were approached by a man who tried to buy drugs from them at a hardware store. The undercover cop was identified as Winston McDonald, who testified in court that Duplan allegedly flashed a switchblade at him outside of the store, and said, "Give me your money or I will stab you," according to court papers.

Forth Worth, TX -- The mother of ‘affluenza’ teen Ethan Couch was ordered released from a Tarrant County jail cell after a bond hearing this afternoon. She may be leaving the jail soon. Judge Wayne Salvant ordered her bond reduced to $75,000 with several conditions. The conditions include weekly visits with the Community Supervisions and Corrections Department of Tarrant County. She is also not to consume alcoholic beverages or use social media. “Let’s look at it for what it is, I understand everyone is concerned and there is outrage in the community… but as a judge I have to look at the law,” said Judge Salvant. Couch and her lawyers were present at a 2 p.m. bond hearing at the Tarrant County Justice Center hoping to have her bond reduced. It was originally set at $1 million since she was charged with Hindering Apprehension of a Felon. (Click here for video)

Salt Lake City, Utah -- Exactly one year after a man was shot and killed during an altercation with a Salt Lake City Police Department officer, a former Davis County Sheriff says new video (Click here for video)footage indicates the officer's actions may not have been justified. James Barker, 42, was shot and killed January 8, 2015 after officer Matthew Taylor responded to a 911 call about a suspicious person and an altercation ensued, during which Barker appeared to strike the officer with a snow shovel.

Philadelphia, PA ~ USA -- Corrupt Justice™ has obtained a video (Click here for video) of the police shooting that took place Thursday night at 60th and Spruce streets. Edward Archer, a 30-year-old Delaware County man who has allegedly claimed an allegiance to ISIS, shot and wounded Officer Jesse Hartnett at 11:41 p.m. last night, city police said. Stunningly, Hartnett can be seen in the video getting out of his patrol car and chasing down the shooter after being ambushed. Officials say Hartnett is in critical but stable condition.

Miami, FL ~ USA -- A Florida jury began weighing on Tuesday whether a man who killed his wife and posted a photo of her blood-spattered, lifeless body on Facebook committed first-degree murder. Attorneys for Derek Medina, 33, argued that he was acting in self-defense when he fired eight shots at Jennifer Alfonso, 27, in the kitchen of their Miami-area residence. The August 2013 shooting followed a fight in which she had threatened to leave, prosecutors said during closing statements. They argued that Medina retrieved a .380-caliber pistol from his bedroom and pulled the trigger repeatedly in a premeditated act of murder. "Every single shot hit her because he was aiming and he wanted her dead," said Assistant State Attorney Leah Klein in Miami-Dade County circuit court. Medina wrote on Facebook shortly before turning himself in: "I'm going to prison or death sentence for killing my wife. My wife was punching me, and I am not going to stand any more with the abuse so I did what I did," he added in the post. (Click here for video)

Montgomery County, Pa. -- Bill Cosby, the comedian and entertainer once known as “America’s dad”, appeared in court (Click here for video) to face his first criminal charge for sexual misconduct on Wednesday, for an incident in which he allegedly drugged and violated a woman who considered him to be her mentor. In a hearing lasting less than 10 minutes, Judge Elizabeth McHugh read out the three second-degree felony charges of aggravated indecent assault. He did not appear visibly moved; when asked if he understood the charges, he replied simply: “Yes.” Bail was set at $1m, of which Cosby will have to pay 10% on Wednesday. Cosby faces up to 10 years in prison for each charge.

San Diego, CA -- (WARNING, GRAPHIC) Police officials released surveillance video (Click here for video) Tuesday showing the fatal shooting of a homeless man who was believed to be carrying a knife — which turned out to be a pen.

Los Angeles, CA -- Sheriff Deputies accused Noel Aguilar of having a gun after they shot him in the back at point blank range multiple times. Deputy Albert Murade was shot in the stomach during the melee by his partner Deputy Jose Ruiz. (Click here for video)

GIFFORD, Fla. -- An Indian River County Sheriff’s deputy is in the hospital with a gunshot wound after he was involved in a shootout with an armed suspect.(Click here for video)

Denton, TX ~ USA -- Police dash camera video (Click here for video) appears to show a 21-year-old UNT student say "shoot me" several times and an officer say "back away" at least six times just seconds before the student was fatally wounded.

Lynwood, CA ~ USA -- A witness's graphic video (Click here for video) appears to show Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department deputies fatally shooting a man near a gas station in Lynwood. It was unclear what led to the incident, in which more than two dozen shots seemed to be fired. No deputies were injured. In accordance with protocol, a multi-agency investigation was underway.

Oklahoma City OK ~ USA -- A former Oklahoma City police officer was convicted Thursday of 18 of the 36 counts he faced, including four counts of first-degree rape, related to accusations that he victimized 13 women on his police beat in a minority, low-income neighborhood. Daniel Holtzclaw, 29, sobbed (Click here for video) as the verdict was read aloud. He could spend the rest of his life in prison based on the jury's recommendations, which include a 30-year sentence on each of the first-degree rape counts. Among the other charges he was convicted of were forcible oral sodomy, sexual battery and second-degree rape. The jury, which deliberated for about 45 hours over four days, recommended he serve a total of 263 years in prison. The judge will decide later whether he will have to serve the sentences consecutively.

Chicago, Ill. ~ USA -- The Chicago police, facing almost daily protests and a newly announced Justice Department investigation, released footage (Click here for video) Monday night showing a 38-year-old black man being shocked by a Taser and dragged down a hallway by officers in 2012.

Chicago, Ill. ~ USA -- The family of Ronald "Ronnieman" Johnson has ALWAYS said that he was brutally shot from behind by the Chicago Police. This new video (Click here for video) which was only released because of the public pressure on the city, shows they were right all along.

Chicago, Ill. ~ USA -- Reports, released by the city late Friday, show that Officer Jason Van Dyke and at least five other officers claim that the 17-year-old McDonald moved or turned threateningly toward officers, even though the video (Click here for video) of the October 2014 shooting shows McDonald walking away, and the scenario sketched out by Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez in charging Van Dyke with murder contends he was walking away as well.

Miami, Fla. ~ USA -- A shocking video (Click here for video) captured by a bystander was recently uploaded to Instagram and sent to us this morning. That footage shows a Miami, Florida man being shot and killed by Miami Beach Police officers.

San Francisco, CA ~ USA -- Shocking San Francisco Police Shooting Video (Click here for video). Five officers unleash a hail of gunfire on a man with a knife.

Michigan ~ USA -- The family of an unarmed teenager fatally shot by an Eaton County Sheriff Deputy sues after son slain during traffic stop for flashing brights. Bodycam video (Click here for video) shows Deven Guilford stopped for flashing his high beams. It ends with a dizzying tumble of images and the sound of gunshots that killed the young driver.

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Monday, June 21, 2010

The Johannes Mehserle Trial - 2010 - Part II



June 25, 2010


Florida — DURHAM (WCJB) -- Linwood Wilson - former investigator to Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong - was arrested at his home by Durham sheriff's deputies Thursday evening. According to court documents, deputies served Wilson with a felony extradition warrant stemming from alleged harassment of his estranged wife in Delaware. The documents say Wilson is charged with stalking obscenity. Delaware investigators said he sent his estranged wife threatening text messages, sex videos, and nude pictures. The warrants say some of the alleged harassment extended to the woman's sister and parents. Wilson was taken to jail where he was later released on a $1,000 bond. Wilson is one of several people named in at least three pending lawsuits stemming from the Duke Lacrosse case. In 2006, Crystal Gail Mangum - an NC Central student who worked as a stripper - accused three players of rape. The charges were later dropped and Attorney General Roy Cooper declared the men innocent.


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Required Reading for Blacks: Black Citizen’s Guide To Police Confrontation!New!


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Top News Story!


Family Law Court!


July 16, 2011

Officials say a woman is facing charges after she was caught on court cameras trying to attack a judge.



A Wayne County woman is facing new charges after she was caught on court cameras trying to attack a judge Thursday. Melissa Hardwick (pictured left) now faces three new charges along with contempt of court. She was in court after her husband filed a domestic violence order against her. The incident started when the judge asked Hardwick's husband to explain the situation. Hartwick then interrupted, and when the judge told her to stop talking, she continued to talk and was held in contempt of court and sentenced her to 10 days in jail. That's when she lunged at the judge. Court security officer Adam Dodson got in the middle and tackled Hartwick.

Hardwick was given 120 days in jail for contempt of court for the incident. She'll also now have to go before a judge charges of third-degree terroristic threatening, intimidating a participant in the legal process and resisting arrest.

Hartwick's bond is set at $25,000 cash.

After the altercation, the judge ruled that the DVO filed by Hardwick's husband will remain.

Mehserle to be Released!


Posted: 05/31/2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
Updated: 05/31/2011 09:42:01 AM PDT


OAKLAND, CA -- A year after facing a lifetime in prison for killing an unarmed BART passenger, former transit police Officer Johannes Mehserle will be released from jail in a couple of weeks. With credits for time served and the leniency of a Los Angeles County judge, Mehserle will be set free after serving 11 months of a two-year sentence issued after the 29-year-old was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter in the killing of Hayward resident Oscar Grant III. Mehserle's release from Los Angeles County Men's Central Jail, most likely in the middle of June, should not come as a surprise because the date was determined when Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Robert Perry declined last year to issue a harsher penalty.

Mehserle was charged with murder for killing Grant on the Fruitvale BART station platform in Oakland. The killing made national headlines and sparked several destructive demonstrations after videos captured by BART passengers recorded the shooting. The videos showed an unarmed Grant being shot in the back as he lay prone on the station platform with another BART police officer holding him down. Mehserle refused to speak to investigators immediately after the killing and eventually was charged with murder by now-retired Alameda County District Attorney Tom Orloff.

Publicity surrounding the shooting and the frequent protests in downtown Oakland forced a relocation of the trial to Los Angeles, where Mehserle testified in his own defense, saying the shooting was an accident caused when he mistook his gun for his Taser. A jury appeared to believe Mehserle, finding him guilty of involuntary manslaughter. That verdict and a decision made by Perry during a sentencing hearing to throw out a complicated gun enhancement charge reduced Mehserle's possible term in jail from 25 years to life to two years. It also angered Grant's family members, who continue to believe Mehserle purposely killed Grant and that he has not paid enough for the crime.



For Grant's family, the release is a bitter reminder of the tragedy that occurred in the early hours of Jan. 1, 2009, and how, in their minds, the criminal justice system failed. "We really don't feel like there has been accountability for his actions," said Cephus Johnson, Grant's uncle and a family spokesman. "We were totally let down by the judicial system." Johnson said Grant's family is also upset because, in their view, Mehserle never apologized for the killing. "We are hurt and angry." Although Mehserle released a written apology to the media after his conviction, Johnson said Grant's family viewed the action as a stunt rather than a sincere signal of remorse. "There has not even been an apology," Johnson said. "While he is sitting in jail, he never wrote a letter to the family."

"The sentencing was a slap in the face," Johnson said. For Grant's family, the only hope for justice is winning the federal civil suit and persuading the U.S. Justice Department to file federal criminal charges against Mehserle and other BART police officers who were at the scene of the killing. The Justice Department had said it was investigating the killing but has never issued a statement regarding the results of that investigation. Phone calls to the department were not returned. "Right now, we are grasping to hope that the Department of Justice will pick this case up," Johnson said. "When we finally get through the civil case and the Department of Justice decision, at that time, we will truly know how we really feel."

For Mehserle, being freed from jail offers a chance to begin anew but not in the profession he had chosen when he became a BART police officer more than three years ago. And while Mehserle's release closes a chapter in the highly publicized saga, the story of Grant's death and its implications will continue for years as both a federal civil suit and an appeal of Mehserle's conviction remain active in the courts.

Once released from jail, Mehserle will be on parole and he will have to work with his parole officer on the details of where he can live. "Things are still unsettled," said Mehserle's defense attorney. "(Mehserle) would just as soon fade into oblivion, find a job, support himself and his family and do so without fanfare." He said Mehserle will seek a job in either sales or business and remain in California for the "short term."

B.A.R.T. Tasers, ... Again!


June 25, 2010

BART police are in trouble with Tasers again, after an officer zapped a man in the back just days after the transit agency lifted a two-month moratorium on the devices. The man's crime? Fare evasion. BART says the officer's actions could be defensible, but that's not how BART Board of Directors member Lynette Sweet sees it. "I want the Tasers gone," Sweet said. "It's one of the stupidest uses of a Taser I can think of." Justifiable or not, the incident probably couldn't have happened at a worse time for BART - not with former BART cop Johannes Mehserle's defense trying to avoid a murder conviction in the Oscar Grant shooting by maintaining Mehserle thought he was pulling his Taser. One of the arguments from Mehserle's attorney is that BART did a bad job training its cops in using the shock weapons. Then came an incident in April, when a BART officer fired his Taser at a bike-riding 13-year-old suspect from his cruiser in Richmond. After that, BART yanked Tasers from officers and spent two months retraining the force on how and when to use them. Officers got their Tasers back two weeks ago. Then, on Tuesday, 35-year-old Jason Johnson was spotted by an officer trying to leave the downtown Berkeley station without going through a pay gate.

According to BART police Lt. Andy Alkire, the officer told Johnson to stop, then reached out to grab him. Johnson pushed the officer away and headed up the stairs, Alkire said. When the officer tried to grab him again, Johnson swung around, revealing what Alkire described as a large object bulging from his pocket. Johnson "clenched his fist and squared off against the officer in an aggressive fighting stance," then turned and started walking down Shattuck Avenue, Alkire said. "Not knowing what was in his pocket and (with Johnson) already having shown an aggressive take," Alkire said, the officer figured he wasn't going to get any cooperation and that Johnson "was a definite threat to him."

So he pulled out his electric-shock weapon and warned Johnson three more times to stop or he would be Tasered. "At this point, the subject just kept walking away, and (the officer) felt it was reasonable to use the Taser - which he did," Alkire said. After being jolted once in the back, Johnson dropped to the ground. The officer then rushed to handcuff him, but Johnson allegedly continued to resist - that is, until he was threatened with a second Taser bolt and complied, according to police. BART would not identify the officer, citing state confidentiality laws on police personnel matters. Johnson was booked and later charged by the Alameda County district attorney with fare evasion and resisting arrest. Police say he has at least one other fare evasion case pending in neighboring Contra Costa County.

BART policy says officers may use Tasers only if they perceive an "imminent threat of bodily injury." Transit agency spokesman Linton Johnson said Tuesday's incident was reported to police brass, as required, and is being reviewed by new Chief Kenton Rainey. He took over the police force just days ago and was not immediately available for comment. The matter is separately under review by the BART police department's internal affairs unit. The BART spokesman and Alkire said the officer had made a "judgment call" that could be justified. "You could let the suspect go, but now you are sending a message to all suspects that they can put up a fight with officers, and we will have no law and order on the system anymore," Linton Johnson said. He said the suspect outweighed the officer by 50 pounds, and that the cop had used the Taser in hopes of causing "the least amount of injury" to both.

BART also says Jason Johnson is a registered sex offender with a long criminal record. Sweet doesn't buy it. She says it's doubtful the officer had any inkling of the suspect's past before he Tased him. "I get the whole character assassination," Sweet said, but "there is no policy saying an officer can Tase someone for evading fares." With everything that's happened involving BART and Tasers since Mehserle shot Grant to death early New Year's Day 2009, Sweet said, "The police still don't seem to have a grasp about when they should be appropriately used."

Equal Justice, Race & Jury Selection


June 21, 2010

"[A]ssertions about intelligence are "one of the most troubling but persistent reasons" given to dismiss potential jurors who are black. Many of those potential jurors are college graduates[.] The culture has tolerated this all-white jury, white prosecutor, white judge phenomenon, because that's what people have seen for decades."

- Bryan Stevenson of the Equal Justice Initiative


Twenty-five years ago, Earl Jerome McGahee was charged with two counts of murder in the deaths of his ex-wife and her friend. McGahee, an African-American, was tried by an all-white jury in an Alabama county that was more than 55 percent black. The district attorney dismissed every one of the 24 blacks who qualified to serve on the jury, including Edith Ferguson, who had worked for the Selma, Ala., Police Department for many years. The reason cited for striking Ferguson from being a juror: "low intelligence." Last year, McGahee was granted a new trial because of the racially discriminatory jury selection in his original case. But many defendants are not so lucky.

Study Documents 'Widespread Discrimination'

Bryan Stevenson of the nonprofit group Equal Justice Initiative tells NPR's Guy Raz that assertions about intelligence are "one of the most troubling but persistent reasons" given to dismiss potential jurors who are black. Many of those potential jurors are college graduates, Stevenson says.

In a new study, Stevenson's group details "widespread discrimination" in the selection of jurors across the Deep South. He says it's been illegal to exclude people from jury service on the basis of race since 1875. But prosecutors can give any reason they want for dismissing a juror, and it's rarely challenged. Stevenson found that serious criminal cases and death penalty cases are even more prone to have discriminatory jury selection than other types of cases.

We've had African-American jurors excluded because they're too old at 43, because they're too young at 28, while other white jurors much older are being accepted, and other white jurors much younger are being accepted.

The study looked at eight states: Alabama, Arkansas, Tennessee, Louisiana, Georgia, Florida, Mississippi and South Carolina. In some counties, 80 percent of the African-Americans who had qualified for jury service were excluded. "The evidence of racial bias that we focus on is evidence that's pretty obvious," said Stevenson. "It tends not to be unintentional. ... We've had African-American jurors excluded because they're too old at 43, because they're too young at 28, while other white jurors much older are being accepted, and other white jurors much younger are being accepted. ... We've had jurors excluded because they were in an interracial marriage or had a biracial son. "It is a violation of the law," says Stevenson, "but it is an area of the law where there has been almost no enforcement."

A Sense Of Humiliation

For some of the people he spoke to, Stevenson says, state courts found they had been illegally excluded from juries on the basis of race. He says many felt humiliated, knowing that the assertions against them were false and demeaning. Stevenson says the problem could be fixed if laws on the books were enforced. He says prosecutors should report on jury diversity, and that trial and appellate courts should more rigorously enforce laws from state and federal statutes and Supreme Court rulings through sanctions and fines. But he admits that the habit will be hard to break.


The People of the State of California



Johannes Mehserle


C.J. Note: We note that Johannes Mehserle immigrated from (former Nazi) Germany at the age of two (2) years, then resided in the White, Racist enclave of Napa, California (wine-country) up until the time he murdered Oscar Grant, an African-American citizen of the United States. Shame on every Black police Officer that contributed to Mehserle's $3,000,000.00 bail!


Mehserle takes the stand:
Cross-Examination!


June 26, 2010
"The only thing that went through my head was that I had to hurry up and tase[.]"

- Johannes Mehserle testifying in his own defense [on June 25, 2010] in the shooting and killing of unarmed B.A.R.T. rider Oscar Grant on January 1, 2009.


The only thing Johannes Mehserle (pictured left in January 1, 2009 file photo) can remember about the moment he fatally shot the Hayward man is seeing a gun in his own hand a split second after he fired. "I didn't think I had my gun," Mehserle said as his face turned red and his lips started quivering. "I heard the pop. It wasn't very loud. It wasn't like a gun shot. And then I remember thinking, What went wrong with my Taser? "I remember looking at my gun in my right hand," Mehserle said as he broke down in sobs. "I didn't know what to think. It just shouldn't have been there." Mehserle spoke publicly Friday for the first time about shooting Grant during a day spent on the witness stand that included several moments of tears from Mehserle and an outburst from the courtroom gallery resulting in a man's arrest. The 28-year-old's testimony began Thursday, but the question everyone following the case wanted answered was not asked until Friday morning. The answer left Grant's family in frustration and Mehserle in a heaping lump of tears. Grant's mother, Wanda Johnson, abruptly left the courtroom as Mehserle began to cry while describing how he thought he had fired his Taser at Grant and then realized it was his gun. Another member of the gallery, Timothy Killings, shouted toward Mehserle as the German-born but Napa-raised former BART officer began to cry. "You save those (expletive) tears, dude," Killings yelled as he was quickly surrounded by Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies, handcuffed and whisked from the courtroom.

Before his emotional breakdown, Mehserle described a struggle he had with Grant as he tried to grab Grant's right arm in an attempt to detain him for resisting arrest. As he reached for Grant's arm, Mehserle said, Grant tensed up and refused to move his arm behind his back. Mehserle said he thought Grant might have been reaching for a gun when he saw Grant move his right hand into his right front pocket. "I remember the digging motion," Mehserle said. "It was like he was looking for something in his pocket." Mehserle said he then yanked on Grant's right arm harder, remembering that the strength he used forced Grant's entire body to move. "I was pulling as hard as I could," Mehserle said. "At that point, I made that decision, at that point to tase him."

In the couple of seconds that followed, Mehserle said, he believed he was grabbing for and then pointing his Taser at Grant. Mehserle said he had no idea that he had pulled out his gun. "There was never any indication that anything, there were no red flags that popped up," Mehserle said. "It felt smooth. No problem. "There was no point where I realized that (I had pulled out my gun)." Mehserle said he first realized he had his gun after he fired the shot and then saw he was holding a gun. While Mehserle said he believed he was justified in using his Taser on Grant because he suspected Grant was reaching for a gun, deputy district attorney David Stein suggested even that decision was wrong.

Comparing the circumstances Mehserle faced just before the shooting to tactics taught to police officers about such incidents, Stein had Mehserle admit that many of the actions he took early Jan. 1, 2009, did not follow proper protocol. Stein said Mehserle's movements just before the shooting were not consistent with the movements an officer should make after deciding to use a Taser on a suspect who is lying on the ground. Mehserle admitted he never yelled "gun" when he thought Grant was reaching for one as officers are taught to do if they see a weapon. Mehserle said he did not yell "gun" because he never saw one.

Stein also pointed out that Mehserle admitted he did not notice that Grant was being pinned down by then-BART police Officer Anthony Pirone (pictured left in January 1, 2009 file photo) even though officers are taught always to be aware of their surroundings. "The only thing that went through my head was that I had to hurry up and tase," Mehserle said. Stein ended his questioning of Mehserle by asking the former officer why he had not told anyone — during his 10 minutes on Oakland's Fruitvale BART station platform after the shooting or a friend who stayed with him for a week after the killing — that he had made a mistake. Mehserle said he could not remember talking to anyone on the platform after the killing even though a security camera shows him talking with several people. Mehserle said he did not talk about the mistake because "I was still trying to figure that out."

Mehserle takes the stand:
Direct -Examination !


June 25, 2010
"You save those (expletive) tears dude."

Timothy Killings, 24, shouted out as Mehserle began to cry on the witness stand.

LOS ANGELES – For 18 months, former Bay area transit officer Johannes Mehserle (pictured left) maintained a public silence about what led him to shoot unarmed Oscar Grant as he lay face down on an Oakland train platform. More answers may come on Friday when Mehserle resumes testifying at his murder trial in a Los Angeles courtroom. His testimony marks the first time he’s spoken publicly about the shooting early New Year’s day 2009. Mehserle, who is white, has pleaded not guilty to the 22-year-old black man. The trial was moved from Alameda County because of intense media coverage and racial tensions. In a surprise move Thursday, Mehserle took the stand and told jurors that training he received didn’t emphasize the possibility of mistaking his stun gun with his handgun. But that’s what his lawyer claims happened when Mehserle pulled out his .40-caliber handgun and shot Grant.



On questioning by defense lawyer Michael Rains, the brawny, 6-foot-4 Mehserle said he received Taser training in December 2008 and had only pulled it out once while on duty in the month before the shooting. He said his former employer didn’t put much weight on possible “confusion issues” where officers should place the Taser holster, only that the weapon wasn’t to be put under their issued handgun. “They left it up to us to figure it out,” said Mehserle, who spoke in a calm, soft voice. “For me it wasn’t that big of a deal.”

Prosecutors say Mehserle intended to shoot Grant, and that Mehserle used his handgun because officers were losing control of the situation. Mehserle wore his stun gun on the front left side the night of the shooting, while his handgun was mounted on his right hip. The trial adjourned late Thursday before Mehserle could give details about the shooting. Legal experts say while defendants in criminal trials rarely take the stand, his testimony could be compelling for jurors. “They are going to want to get a sense of is he a good person, a thoughtful person,” said Dr. Philip Anthony, a Los Angeles psychologist who is chief executive of the jury consulting firm DecisionQuest. “Most importantly, they want to hear what was running through his mind, his thought process when he fired that fatal shot.”

On the stand, Mehserle did say when he arrived with his partner to the train station in response to a possible fight, that he could hear yelling and screaming from the platform above. “I remember it being real loud,” Mehserle said. “I didn’t know if officers were involved in the fight or the crowd had turned on them. It didn’t sound good.” He added he intercepted a few men who he said were approaching two fellow officers that had detained Grant and several friends against a concrete wall. He said the men, who turned out to be more of Grant’s friends, were taunting the BART officers. “I just instructed them to get back,” Mehserle said. He said he eventually looked at Grant and Jackie Bryson, who appeared to be upset. The other two officers, Tony Pirone and Marysol Domenici, had pulled their stun guns out and given the situation, Mehserle said he decided to do the same. Before Grant was shot, he snapped a photo of Mehserle pointing his Taser stun gun in his direction.

Mehserle said he wasn’t sure what had transpired but tried to cool down Grant and Bryson. “They were yelling ‘(expletive) that officer,’ ‘I’m going to sue,’” Mehserle recalled the two men saying of Pirone, who was described by some onlookers as the most aggressive and hostile toward Grant and his friends. The shooting, and the events leading up to it, were captured on video by several bystanders.

Grant’s uncle, Cephus “Bobby” Johnson said he believes Mehserle will try using his testimony to differentiate himself from Pirone. “Now all of the sudden he’s this huggable, passive, non-aggressive person who really believes in communication instead of exerting authority,” Johnson said. “I’m not buying that.”

June 24, 2010

LOS ANGELES — Johannes Mehserle took the stand this afternoon in an attempt to convince jurors he mistakenly pulled out his gun when he meant to pull his Taser on Jan. 1, 2009. Mehserle, wearing a gray suit, blue shirt and red tie, did not get a chance to discuss the shooting of Oscar Grant III before court ended for the day but will do so Friday morning. Come back here later for the complete story.

Oscar [was] the Aggressor!



Michael Schott, a forensic video expert who has been paid at least $65,000 by former BART police Officer Johannes Mehserle's defense team, told a jury that more than 500 hours of analysis shows it was Grant and his friends who appeared to be the aggressors on Oakland's Fruitvale BART station platform early Jan. 1, 2009. Highlighting defense attorney Michael Rains' primary contention in the murder trial, Schott said his analysis shows it was Grant and his friends who tried to strike police officers with fists and knees rather than the police officers acting aggressively toward the group. Rains guided Schott through the events that led to Mehserle's firing his gun into the back of the unarmed Hayward man and asked him to pinpoint times in which his analysis differed from what most who have viewed the videos believe they saw.

Schott's analysis began shortly after the court's afternoon lunch break and ended just before he reached the moment Mehserle, then 26, shot Grant, 22. Schott, a former sheriff with a degree in math who's a member of several forensic video organizations, will testify about that moment this morning. In each instance Schott testified about Wednesday, he said his analysis shows that former BART police Officer Anthony Pirone and Mehserle never tried to strike Grant or his friends while the officers attempted to arrest the group for fighting on a Dublin-Pleasanton-bound train.

After a prolonged and technical explanation of how he was able to assess the videos, Schott was asked to explain what he observed during specific actions recorded. The first action Rains focused on was a video that, in real time, appeared to show Pirone walking toward Grant and then punching or elbowing him in the head. Schott said his analysis does not show Pirone doing anything of the sort and instead shows Grant punching Pirone, even though the former officer never testified that Grant had hit him (watch below as Grant punches Pirone).



And, Schott said, his analysis shows that while Mehserle tried to handcuff Grant seconds before shooting him, Grant fell to the ground rather than Mehserle pushing him onto his back. Despite his extensive explanation about how he analyzed the videos and his declared confidence in his observations, Schott admitted throughout his testimony that each incident viewed is open for interpretation. "Again, I'll tell you what I see and leave the interpretation up to the jury," Schott said at one point. "You have to be cautious," Schott said at another point. "This gets tricky."

Rains is expected to have Schott testify today about the actions Mehserle took while pulling out his gun and shooting it. During that testimony, it is expected Schott will say the movement of Mehserle's fingers is consistent with an officer who believes he has a Taser in his hand. Rains has argued that Mehserle mistook his gun for a Taser when he shot Grant. Before Schott took the stand, the jury heard testimony about the Taser training Mehserle attended just a month before he killed Grant. That training, which lasted six hours, included discussion of three previous incidents in which police officers mistook guns for Tasers and demonstrations of how an officer should carry a Taser to avoid such mistakes.

Gun v. Taser: The Difference!


June 23, 2010

LOS ANGELES — Former BART police Officer Johannes Mehserle was told about the dangers of confusing a handgun and a Taser a month before his lawyer claimed he did just that in the shooting of Oscar Grant III. During a six-hour training course he attended Dec. 3, 2008, Mehserle was told about three incidents when police officers confused guns with Tasers (see below) and was told the best locations to carry a Taser to avoid such mistakes. A month later, Mehserle, then 26, shot and killed Grant, 22, in the back while the unarmed Hayward man lay facedown on Oakland's Fruitvale BART station platform. Mehserle's lawyer is arguing that he confused his gun for his Taser because, in part, of a lack of training.

Mehserle's training, conducted by BART police Officer Steward Lehman, was a roughly daylong affair that included classroom discussions and slide shows, a demonstration of the effects of a Taser, and about an hour of practice for officers to learn how to draw a Taser from a police utility belt. Lehman testified today in Mehserle's murder trial that the training included a demonstration and practice on how and where an officer should carry a Taser to avoid confusion with a gun. "It was to avoid weapons confusion based on previous cases," Lehman said. Lehman also conducted an in-court demonstration of the different locations a BART officer was allowed to carry a Taser and the different ways to draw the Taser from a holster depending on where it was located.



Lehman also showed the steps an officer must go through to release a Taser from his holster, two distinctly different steps than are needed to remove a gun from its holster. At the time of Grant's death, BART allowed officers to carry and draw Tasers in four distinct ways depending on whether an officer was right-handed or left-handed. For a right-handed officer like Mehserle, there were four ways to carry and draw a Taser:

lower left leg holster, draw with left hand
left side of utility belt, draw with left hand
left side of utility belt, draw across the body with right hand
right side of utility belt, draw across the body with left hand.

Mehserle wore his Taser on Jan. 1, 2009, on the left side of his body with the intention of drawing it across his body with his right hand, evidence in the case has shown. Although Lehman said BART police officers met the minimum standards set by a state agency that monitors police standards, he admitted under questioning from Mehserle's attorney, Michael Rains, that BART cut corners to save money. For instance, during Taser training, officers were only allowed to fire their Tasers once because after a Taser is fired, the cartridge holding the electric darts can't be used again. Each cartridge cost at least $23, and BART did not want to waste money buying new cartridges for training, Lehman said. Lehman also said BART did not purchase enough Tasers to equip every officer with a device, meaning Tasers were shared among officers when they switched shifts.

"That's another economic consideration, isn't it?" Rains said at one point. Before Lehman took the stand, Rains notified Superior Court Judge Robert Perry that his defense of his client could be completed by Friday. Rains made the statement as the court was discussing scheduling. Based on a completion of evidence Friday, closing arguments would be made to the jury Tuesday.

Mehserle Attorney: "Grant was resisting!"


June 22, 2010

LOS ANGELES -- The attorney fighting a murder charge against former BART police Officer Johannes Mehserle opened his defense case today by trying to show jurors that shooting victim Oscar Grant had the motivation - and the character - to resist Mehserle's attempt to arrest him. Defense attorney Michael Rains called his first witnesses after prosecutor David Stein rested his case Monday following seven days of testimony in Los Angeles County Superior Court. Rains is trying to persuade jurors that Grant was resisting Mehserle as the officer attempted to handcuff the 22-year-old Hayward man after a fight on a train Jan. 1, 2009.

Rains says Mehserle, 28, meant to shock the unarmed and prone Grant with a Taser, but accidentally pulled and fired his pistol. Stein says Grant was not resisting, and that the Taser story is a fabrication.

Once again, here's the video: At what point does Oscar Grant resist to the point a taser is necessary?

Oscar Grant Murdered by Mehserle (edited video of slaying) BART Shooting



Shortly after Mehserle killed Oscar Grant, another B.A.R.T. Police Officer was videotaped smashing a drunk train patron's face into a glass window at the B.A.R.T. station.

B.A.R.T. Police - Grab & Smash! video


Rains' first witness was San Leandro police Officer Alex Hidas, who chased and arrested Grant after a traffic stop in October 2006. Hidas said a colleague had shocked Grant with a Taser as he ran, causing Grant to fall into the front end of a parked car.

Grant, who landed on his chest partway under the car, did not initially put his left hand behind his back, Hidas said, but complied after Hidas kicked him two or three times.

In his cross-examination, Stein suggested that Grant hadn't been resisting but had been dazed and incapacitated - two of the common effects of being shocked with electricity. "Did you have these things in mind, sir," Stein asked, "when you began kicking Mr. Grant?"

Also today, Judge Robert Perry ordered that all five of the videos of the incident captured by BART riders be released to the public, which could happen as soon as Wednesday.

Some videos have already been aired on television and the Internet. But the public has never seen the clearest footage of the shooting, which was taken from a train doorway by 21-year-old San Francisco State student Tommy Cross on a camera that had video-recording capability.

Cross' video also shows a second former BART officer, Anthony Pirone, shouting profanities at Grant just before Mehserle takes him to the ground. Pirone testified that when he shouted, "Bitch-ass n-, right?" he was repeating a name Grant had called him.

June 21, 2010

[T]estimony came during the first week of what is likely to be a monthlong trial during which, Deputy District Attorney David Stein called other former BART police officers to the witness stand to explain why they acted aggressively toward Oscar Grant (pictured left) and his friends. The testimony also came from witnesses who said most BART police officers on the Fruitvale platform early Jan. 1, 2009, were using excessive force against Grant and his friends. They all also said that Grant and his friends never resisted arrest or tried to strike the officers. Stein has not yet called a BART police official who is expected to testify that in the hours that the official sat with Mehserle after the shooting, the then-26-year-old BART officer never said he made a mistake. Nevertheless, the brief glimpses of Mehserle after the shooting that were captured by video and described by passengers most likely will become the pivotal evidence for Mike Rains as he tries to win acquittal for his client.

Most of the witnesses said Mehserle immediately re-holstered the gun after firing, put his hands to his head and looked "shocked," "dumbfounded" and "stunned." Even Carlos Reyes, a friend of Grant's who sat about 2 feet away from the 22-year-old Hayward man when he was shot, said Mehserle appeared shocked and shouted, "Oh (expletive), oh God, I shot him," after the bullet entered Grant's back, causing his death hours later.

Stein is expected to argue that Mehserle's reactions were a result of his quickly realizing that he should not have shot Grant. Stein still could argue that Mehserle intended to kill Grant but realized that was the wrong choice after shooting him. Rains, of course, will argue that the reaction proves that Mehserle never intended to use his gun and was shocked when he pulled the trigger and a bullet fired from a gun rather than two electrically charged darts from a Taser. Whatever explanation a jury deems reasonable could play a large role in determining the outcome of the trial, attorneys said.


Mehserle's Contrived Defense!


August 27, 2008

C.J. Note: The following event occurred five (5) months and three (3) days prior to the date Johannes Mehserle murdered Oscar Grant, an African-American citizen of the United States. Shame on every Black police Officer that contributed to Mehserle's $3,000,000.00 bail! NICHOLASVILLE, Kent. — A Nicholasville police officer accidentally shot a man Thursday afternoon while trying to break up a scuffle outside the police department. Lt. Bill Jones, a 13-year veteran of the department, was trying to stop the fight when the shooting happened about 2:30 p.m. Police said Jones intended to use his Taser to stop the fight, but he mistakenly drew his firearm and shot the man one time in the side. Nathan MacLaren of Baytown, Texas, identified the man who was shot as Michael McCarty. MacLaren was fighting with McCarty. MacLaren is the boyfriend of McCarty's soon-to-be ex-wife, he said, and they intended to take McCarty's 8-year-old son back to Texas. During the scuffle, MacLaren said, he heard a pop sound, but he didn't know where it came from. McCarty's medical condition was not immediately available.

See: The Johannes Mehserle Trial - 2010


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