OSCAR GRANT’S FAMILY & THE OAKLAND COMMUNITY RESPOND TO POSSIBLE OVERTURN OF JOHANNES MEHSERLE CONVICTION
WHO: Wanda Johnson, Oscar’s mother; Cephus “Bobby” Johnson, Oscar’s Uncle; Jack Bryson and Oakland community activists
WHAT: Press conference denouncing Mesherle’s request to have his conviction overturned
WHEN: Friday, May 11, 2012 @ 9 AM
WHY: On Wednesday, May 9th, Johannes Mehserle, the former BART officer convicted of involuntary manslaughter in the murder of unarmed Oscar Grant, went before an appellate court with a plea to overturn his conviction. The District Attorney’s office never bothered to even notify Wanda, Oscar’s mother, that the hearing was taking place.
“Regardless of what the court says, the community says Mehserle is a murderer,” said Cat Brooks of the ONYX Organizing Committee. “And he got off easy for his crime. To come back now and ask to have his conviction overturned shows he has absolutely no remorse for his crime, no empathy for the family and speaks to the sociopathic nature of his personality. This is not a man Oakland or any other city needs walking around with a badge and a gun.”
Given the recent murder of Alan Blueford and the rash of police killings immediately following Mehserle’s light sentence, it is clear that neither the city nor the OPD have taken seriously the epidemic of police brutality and murder running rampant in Oakland. Nor have they developed any serious plan to shift this trend. A clear message must be sent from the community and the courts that this has to stop. But the family, already burned by the justice system with Mesherle’s laughable sentence is gravely concerned they will be let down by the system once again.
“If he is successful, it will just reinforce the message to cops that you can kill, walk and keep your job,” said Jack Bryson, the father of two of the young men on the platform with Oscar. “And it puts the lives of young black and brown men at risk in an irresponsible and immoral manner.”