The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

The Crime Scene Was in the Courtroom

Nov 8, 2010

On November 5, a Los Angeles judge let transit cop Johannnes Mehserle off with two years in jail–for murder.

The murder took place early on New Year’s Day, 2009, in the Oakland subway. Mehserle and his partner singled out Oscar Grant, an unarmed black man, from a group on a subway platform. They made him lie face down. Mehserle’s partner put a knee on his neck. Mehserle then pulled his pistol and shot Oscar Grant in the back, killing him.

The murder was videotaped by many people.

The trial was moved to Los Angeles–in reality because the people of Oakland knew what happened. There a jury convicted Mehserle of the lesser charge of involuntary manslaughter. The judge protected Mehserle, first by throwing out a firearm charge, and then by giving him the minimum possible prison sentence–two years with time off for time served. This means he will go free in six or seven months.

Outraged, protesters in Oakland poured into the streets. The cops declared the demonstrations a “crime scene.” They blocked people from leaving, and arrested 152 people for being at a crime scene.

But the real crime scene was the platform where Oscar Grant was shot in the back in cold blood.

The real crime scene was the Los Angeles courtroom where a judge protected yet another killer cop.