Monday June 13th started out as a good day for me. I was back in Phoenix after spending the weekend in California visiting family. The sun was shining. LeBron James had failed in his latest attempt to win a championship and I was all over that story. And then Chuck D decided to follow me on Twitter. Yes, THAT Chuck D. I was riding high. If I played basketball I would have messed around and got a triple double.
Then I received the news that Johannes Mehserle was released from L.A. County Jail. And all of a sudden my day came crashing down.
For those of you who don’t know, Mehserle is the former BART officer who murdered Oscar Grant on New Year’s Day 2009 in Oakland, California. I say murder because that’s exactly what it was. Cold blooded murder. There was absolutely no reason for it to happen.
Mehserle was convicted of involuntary manslaughter and served 11 months of a two year sentence for killing Oscar Grant.
Just for comparison, Mike Vick served 23 months for being associated with people who were involved with dog fighting. Plaxico Burress served 20 months for shooting himself. They both served nearly twice as long as the man who killed Oscar Grant in cold blood.
Of course Vick and Burress were not BART officers and they were not white and they did not kill a black man. It is unconscionable to me that this man has served so little time. And the murder was even caught on video!
If you have not seen the video of Oscar Grant getting murdered I strongly suggest that you do not. There are only a few things in my life that I wish I had never seen and Oscar Grant’s murder is one of them.
Just know that Johannes Mehserle took his gun out and shot a helpless Oscar Grant in the back as he lay on the concrete floor of the Oakland BART station.
It was a crime that certainly deserved more time than 11 months in jail.
I wonder what would happen if the roles were reversed. What would have happened if Oscar Grant and his friends held down Johannes Mehserle down on the concrete and shot him in the back? Would Oscar Grant be a free man today? I seriously doubt that.
There is nothing I, or anyone else, can do to bring Oscar Grant back or make Johannes Mehserle serve more time for the crime he committed. All we can do is remember Oscar Grant and hold our law enforcement officers to a higher standard and make sure they do not murder any more of our citizens.
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