Monthly Archives: November 2010

Tell the DA to Drop All Charges!

To date, hundreds of protesters have been arrested for protesting for justice for Oscar Grant. Most recently we saw 152 people unjustly corralled and arrested on November 5th (day of Oscar’s killer’s sentencing). Others are still facing charges from July 8th (the day of Mehserle’s involuntary manslaughter verdict). We demand that the Oakland DA drop all the charges against all protesters!

You can follow this link to petition Nancy O’Malley, the Alameda County District Attorney. We wrote a form letter, but of course feel free to edit it! Any signatures posted to this petition will individually be sent to the DA’s email inbox. Let’s flood it!

We are also encouraging you to mail a hard copy to the DA’s office at the following address:

Alameda County District Attorney’s Office
1225 Fallon St. Suite 900
Oakland, CA 94612

Here is the petition letter as written (included in the link above):

I am writing to you regarding the November 5th, 2010 arrests of protesters following the Rally to Honor Oscar Grant at City Hall. I am concerned about misconduct by OPD.  This includes a documented dispersal order given simultaneously as protesters were trapped by police, as well as misinformation given by police agencies and spread by media agencies.  Therefore, I demand that you drop the charges of all 152 defendants.

Furthermore, as we examine police misconduct from the night of July 8th, 2010 in

downtown Oakland, it is evident that the OPD, Alameda Sherriffs, and other law enforcement agencies are culpable for trapping protesters into the area using excessive aggression.  These police actions clearly incited riotous behavior and looting. If these agencies will not be held accountable for their documented instigation of property destruction in the streets, neither should those facing charges for various forms of protest.

If you should decide to pursue the blatantly unjust charges from either of those nights, it seems likely that the community’s declining faith in the justice system will further diminish and will result in continued expressions of 1st Amendment activity whose burden you will have to shoulder.  The choice is yours.

Also, THIS FRIDAY, November 19th, there will be a rally to drop the charges against all 152 arrestees from November 5th outside Wiley Manuel Courthouse (also the DA’s office, 661 Washington Street in Oakland). Press conference at 3pm, rally at 4pm.

Drop the Charges! Nov. 5 Legal Update

This is a legal update for the protests following last Nov. 5th, Johannes Mehserle’s sentencing for the murder of Oscar Grant.

152 people were arrested, in a mass arrest around E 17th street and 6th avenue in Oakland. Most were given the charge PC 408, a misdemeanor of Unlawful Assembly. A few people were additionally charged with PC 407, misdemeanor Unlawful Assembly, and a few people were charged with PC 602 (L), misdemeanor Trespassing. One person was booked on Arson charges, but has not gone to court yet. It is unclear what the charges from that arrest will be.

There were allegations that a protester grabbed an officer’s gun holster on the evening of Nov. 5, but no one has been charged for that offense. There has been no facts to support for that story’s merit, to our knowledge.

Arraignments will be in the first week of December, all in Dept. 107 at Wiley Manuel Courthouse, 661 Washington Street. Court support is encouraged.
The schedule for arraignment has:
8 people on 12/2
12 people on 12/3
120 people on 12/6.

Six people remained in custody over the weekend and five of them had arraignments on 11/9. Of those folks, the Oakland 100 Support Committee was able to bail two of them out. Of the people arraigned so far, most protest related charges have been dropped but some are being held on prior warrants. Two people remain in custody as of 11/14/10.

More legal support is needed. For donations, go to

Inside the jail at Glenn Dyer jail (North County), there were a number of concerns with arrestee’s treatment. Many people were denied adequate medical treatment for injuries relating to police brutality during arrest, but also for preexisting medical problems exacerbated by a lack of care while in custody.
Many people were denied food for over 12 hours.
One person was beaten badly by Sheriff guards while in Glenn Dyer.
Also, at least one person was given a swab for DNA testing, which is a protocol used for folks accused of felonies, but not acceptable practice for misdemeanor charges.

The National Lawyer’s Guild, Legal Support for the Oakland Assembly and the Oakland 100 Support Committee denounces the excessive amount of law enforcement and brutality to protesters. There were more than eleven police and law enforcement agencies in Oakland. The people of Oakland have a right to express their
outrage at a justice system that gives a token slap on the wrist to an officer who was videotaped murdering an unarmed black man in the back.

Justice for Oscar Grant and now, Derrick Jones.

In solidarity,
Members of the National Lawyer’s Guild Demonstrations Committee, Legal Support for the Oakland Assembly and the Oakland 100 Support Committee

Legal Update: Friday Arrests & Court Dates

On Friday, former BART cop Johannes Mehserle was given a jail sentence of 2 years for the ‘involuntary manslaughter’ of Oscar Grant. Subtracting time served and ‘good behavior’, Mehserle will be back on the streets in as little as 7 months.

Community members took to the streets in protest, and after the cops sealed an entire city block off, calling it a ‘crime scene’, 152 people were arrested. That is more arrests than ANY other Oscar Grant-related protest as of yet.

Most arrestees have been cited on misdemeanor charges and released. Those folks all have mass arraignments in the first week of December. We will be calling for a mass show of court support for those days. Stay Tuned.

Six people continue to be held, and each have arraignments scheduled for this coming Tuesday, November 9th. Please come to court to show support for people who stood up for justice, spoke truth to power, and continue to be punished for it. The following are their court times and departments (rooms, all at Wiley Manuel Courthouse @ 661 Washington Street in
9am, dept. 107 – 1 person
2pm, dept. 107 – 1 person
2pm, dept. 112 – 4 people

Finally, Raquel Sharp is being charged criminally with a misdemeanor as well as civilly (being sued) for events on the night of Mehserle’s verdict (July 8th). Raquel has asked for as many people as possible to show up to her pre-trial TOMORROW morning, 9am in Department 104 at Wiley Manuel Courthouse on the corner of 7th and Washington streets in Oakland (661 Washington).

Support the Oakland Rebels! Stay strong!
-the Oakland 100 Support Committee

PS-As always, we’re fundraising! All donations directly support people who’ve been charged with crimes related to protesting for justice for Oscar Grant and against racist police brutality. More information and online donations can be made here:

*Drop All Charges Against the Oakland 100!*

After the rebellions in 2009 that followed immediately after the murder of
Oscar Grant many people were arrested. A few faced some felonies, but in the
end, due to strong community support and pressure none of those defendants
saw jail time.

This past July when people revolted again – this time against the audacious
verdict of involuntary manslaughter for murder Johannes Mehserle – they were
again arrested en mass. But this time the District Attorney’s office has
stepped up their assault on our movement. Over a dozen people have been
charged with felonies, with even more people are facing multiple
misdemenors. Some people have already been sentenced, some still face
lengthy trials and four defendants have been in jail since July. To make
matters worse the City Attorney, John Russo, has filed a civil lawsuit
against four of these defendants.

*None of these people were violent! *Violence is what the police enact on a
daily basis, especially in poor, black and brown neighborhoods. As daily
targets of the system, black and brown folks with limited resources are the
ones that spent the most time in jail after the protests, most being held on
parole or probation violations. Taking shoes from footlocker or breaking
windows do not and cannot fit in the same category as the violence that
perpetually targets and incarcerates poor people of color and results in
incidents such as the murder of Oscar Grant, III.

*Those who are charged on crimes against property must not be isolated but
embraced* by the movement. In most cases, these allegations are false, but
defendants are forced to take plea deals and are bound by the system.* **If
and when allegations are true, solidarity must come first.* Those who
participated in crimes against property had the agency and
self-determination to push back against the system how they saw fit.

It should also be of note that those that face charges are mostly Black men,
but also people of various ethnicities, ages and genders. The Justice for
Oscar Grant Movement is composed of many different communities and all of
the defendants are represented in those communities. Showing support to all
the defendants is a great way for us to strengthen this movement and build
solidarity between different cultures and communities. This solidarity is
precisely what the State is most afraid of.

*Oakland District Attorney’s Office is sending a message of intimidation to
all those who stand up to the police and all systems of oppression used
against poor, Black, and Brown communities. We must send a clear message
back to the DA: We will not be intimidated and we intend to stand along side
all of the defendants that have been criminalized for standing up to this
injustice system. Drop All the Charges against the Oakland 100, every last
one of them!*

CONTACT District Atty Nancy O’Malley’s office at using the following contact info:
Phone: (510) 272-6222
Mail: Alameda County District Attorney’s Office
1225 Fallon St. Suite 900
Oakland, Ca 94612