Monthly Archives: July 2010

Three charged in post-Mehserle verdict looting

By Paul T. Rosynsky
Oakland Tribune

OAKLAND — Three more people were charged with felonies this week in connection with the looting that occurred in downtown Oakland after former BART police Officer Johannes Mehserle was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter for killing Oscar Grant III, a county official said.

Two of the people charged this week were identified after the Oakland Police Department released photographs of looters inside a Foot Locker store with stolen shoes in their hands, said Alameda County deputy district attorney Bob Hartman.

The third man was caught after he tried to sell shoes he is suspected of stealing from the Foot Locker in Alameda.

Those charged this week include:

  • Andrew Jackson, arrested while selling shoes in Alameda. Jackson is charged with a felony, receiving or possessing stolen property.
  • Someone at large (the article had his name but who cares)
  • Rickey Reeves, 21, charged with felony commercial burglary and felony possession of stolen property.With the three men charged this week, the District Attorney’s Office has now charged a total of 14 people with felony crimes in connection to the demonstrations and looting that occurred after a Los Angeles jury found Mehserle guilty of involuntary manslaughter for the killing of an unarmed Grant.

    Some voiced displeasure with the verdict, believing Mesherle should have been found guilty of the more serious second-degree murder charge.

    //

    In total, Oakland Police arrested 78 people during the protests in which businesses were damaged and looted. Some trash bins were set on fire and graffiti was sprayed during the civil unrest as protesters clashed with police officers from around the Bay Area. Most of those arrested were cited and released.


  • SAVE THE DATE!

    COMRADES~ (please forward)

    Here we go again! On Thursday July 8th, 2010 close to one hundred people
    were arrested after an inadequate verdict was released for the Mehserle
    trial. Just like the Oakland Rebellions of January 2009, most of those who
    were arrested will not face criminal charges.

    However, THIS IS A CRUCIAL MOMENT for us to show the D.A. and the courts
    that they cannot decide the fate of those demonstrators that are still
    facing charges without being accountable to the larger movement for justice
    for Oscar Grant. Right now, 13 are still in jail with 55K or higher bail or
    being held with no bail.

    This is a call out to all who are able to come support the people still
    facing charges. Show up to hearings 30 minutes prior to the times below to
    meet outside the court and walk in together.

    Below are the dates and info for the upcoming hearings. Hearings will be
    held at *Wiley W Manuel Courthouse, 661 Washington St @ 7th St., Oakland.*

    Thursday July 22nd 9AM rm 115 4 people
    Friday July 23rd 9AM rm 104 1 person
    Monday July 26th 2PM rm 112 1 person

    Also, try and make special arrangements to come out for the mass
    arraignment, to stand in solidarity on the day that most of those arrested
    will have to show up to court.

    Monday August 9th 9AM rm 107 60+ people


    The Oakland 100 Support Committee is a group of arrestees, organizers, and
    community members committed to locating arrestees, participating in a drop
    the charges campaign, and helping to generate a pool of funds and resources
    for the over 100 arrested during the January Rebellions.


    Hands Off Oakland Rebels!

    Greetings from California, Comrades!

    As many have heard, a relentless anti-police movement has grown from the tragedy of Oscar Grant’s murder on January 1, 2009 by former officer Johannes Mehserle.* Recently, Mehserle was convicted of the deplorable charge of involuntary manslaughter, a weak charge which carries a sentence of probation to four years in prison.

    When the news of Mehserle’s verdict reached the people of the bay area on July 8, the streets heated up in a style reminiscent of the anti-police riots a year and a half ago. Downtown Oakland swelled immediately after the release of the verdict. For hours after the verdict was released, people milled about, yelling at police, and listening to angry speeches. As the sun went down, the police moved in to end the spontaneous demonstration, threatening arrest of anyone who stayed on the streets. The sky was littered with helicopters and planes. Every police force in the region had gathered in downtown. Despite these threats, in the hours that followed, blocks and blocks of Oakland were wrecked, bank windows smashed, stores looted, and trash cans set on fire by people outraged by the state and society’s sickening disregard for Oscar Grant’s life, and by extension, those who are always the victims of police violence in the state’s constant war against people of color, women, and the poor.
The night of July 8th, and long after the riots had ended, the Oakland Police Department as well as other Bay Area police departments, snatched at least 78 people from the streets.
    Twelve of those comrades are still in jail. Seven of them are being held without bail for parole violations. The five others face various felonies including burglary, rioting, and arson. They have bails ranging between $60,000 and $70,000, with one man being held for $525,000. With a bail bondsman we can free them by posting around 10% of the bail. We are hopeful that some of these people will get their bail reduced in the coming weeks after their pre-trial. Regardless, raising funds now is imperative. Defendants will be held in jail until the conclusion of their trial if we do not bail them out. (During the last Oscar Grant riots in January 2009 one man was charged with arson. His trial dragged on a whole year before the city dropped the charges due to lack of evidence. This scenario is destined to repeat itself at the expense of those arrested on the 8th.)

    We, the anarchists and autonomists of the Bay Area of California, lovers of rebellions, and haters of cops for their ceaseless violence against us, do humbly request for solidarity to help free these brave rebels. If your collective, scene, squat, movement has the capacity to throw a benefit, or otherwise come into money, for this legal defense fund. we couldn’t need it more in order to keep our movement against the murderous police fierce and alive!



    Thank you.

    
In Solidarity,

    The Oakland 100 Support Committee

    To make an online contribution use oakland100@gmail.com via paypal.com
    For more information on the status of the cases see https://supporttheoakland100.wordpress.com/ or email us at oakland100@gmail.com
    
For ongoing coverage of the Justice for Oscar Grant Movement see http://www.indybay.org

    Please feel free to repost and forward this widely and translate into other languages!

    *For those unfamiliar with the case: Oscar Grant, a Black man, was pulled off a train in Oakland New Years Eve by a gang of police. He was laying face down on the ground when shot point blank in the back by Mehserle, a white cop. The murder was filmed by many train passengers and viewed by hundreds of thousands of people on youtube. A week after the murder herds of people from Oakland, California erupted in riots.