The jury just convicted former BART officer Mehserle of involuntary manslaughter in the shooting of Oscar Grant. I really want to hear what you feel about this verdict.
Give me your thoughts, and I will let you know what I believe after we have collected about 24 hours of comments.
Are you surprised?
Is this the right verdict?
Was it motivated by a fear of riots?
Should he have been convicted or murder?
Thanks and look forward to hearing your input!
I couldn’t resist the pun.
Seriously though, read this. Now, I have watched that video online. I have also seen the officer’s somewhat odd behavior following the shooting. And I think he made a mistake. I think he blew it big time.
But murder? Right in front of all those witnesses? I doubt it.
Keep in mind what the geniuses in that article are alleging. For this to be MURDER, the cop would have to be more than careless, and more than stupid. He would have to be someone who MEANT TO KILL the suspect. I just don’t buy it. Not to mention that Mr. Shakur is also quoted as saying that the cops murder someone every day. Let’s hope he gets to address the court…
The better charge might be negligence or something like that. In any case, here is my prediction:
Just like other cops on that Left Coast that we love, this guy will be convicted. After all, if he isn’t, they might have another riot. Hey, it was enough to get the Rodney King cops convicted the second time. I think it will be enough again…
What do you think?
I have been waiting for a new controversial video to test out a theory of mine. It struck me a while back that I always offer my opinion in a post about a “hot” topic, and then ask for yours. Well that doesn’t seem fair. If this is truly to be a conversation, then I figure you deserve the first, not just the last, word. So, here goes. What do you think of this video?
I will sort through the comments for a while and then offer my opinion later…
This video out of Fresno, CA is starting to get some attention. In their usual devious way, the mainstream media folks are labeling it a “beating.” Not so fast.
Watch the video once, then come back and read the rest of this post.
Normally I would stay out of it until all the facts were in. It seems only fair to do so, and I have called for such patience many times in the past. So I guess I must be getting old and cranky, because if the pundits aren’t willing to wait, then I won’t either.
Watch the video again. The suspect appears to refuse to give up his arm for handcuffing. He is rigid to the point that two officers are unable to move that wrist to his back and apply the cuffs. The punches, while tough to watch, are a good move. Note how effective they are. After a few, he decides to surrender that arm.
Did I mention that one cop had his badge ripped off and genius also tried to stab a cop with their own pen? Oh and did I mention that he was previously arrested for assaulting an officer?
Oh sorry, there I go again. What do you think?
Wow. I had to bring this one up. My disdain for the media knows no bounds, as many posts here demonstrate quite eloquently. They just seem to hate cops, and I can’t figure out why. Outstanding work, then, by Steve Lopez for using his column this week as an apology to the officer who he initially sold down the river in Los Angeles.
I don’t know the details of the incident, but that isn’t the point here. The point is that reporters (and judges, lawyers, civil rights activists, and everyone else) should keep their darn noses out of a major use of force until we know what really happened. A very close second place, however, is to at least admit when you are wrong.
Thank you, Mr. Lopez.
I wish we could all put this to rest, already. TASERs work. The Thomas A. Swift Electronic Rifle (named by the inventor, who was a fan of the children’s books) sends electricity through the body and incapacitates the recipient. In doing so, it saves lives — cops’ lives and suspects’ lives. Period.
However as a Canadian officer correctly points out, the alternative is often the use of a firearm — deadly force to be sure. Taser’s own website (admittedly a for-profit company) indicates numbers that are so drastically in favor of TASER deployment, that argument is difficult.
If you don’t trust the company that makes them, how about the departments that use them. In almost all major police departments, the TASER is considered “intermediate” force. That means it can be used when someone is fighting, charging, threatening to injure or kill, or displaying a non-deadly weapon at the police. With the TASER, that individual is immediately and effectively incapacitated. I was “TASERED” in the police academy. It hurt. But one minute later I was fine. The same could not be said of a steel baton to the knee (guaranteed lifetime injury), a bite by a police dog (arrgh), or a gunshot (duh!).
Watch the video here, and ask yourself the single, key, and only question about TASERS: Would I rather get hit with this, or one of the alternatives. The dog in the background of this video is ready to take care of business. I think the suspect himself explains the benefits of the TASER better than I ever could. That should settle the argument.
Sometimes police work is ugly. That is the suspects’ fault, not the cops’. Remember my favorite quote:
“People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.”
One of my pet peeves has always been the genius who refuses to listen to a uniformed officer giving a simple, lawful, and clear order (see this post for an example.)
Without judging the specific tactics, I think my point is well made in the video below. That drunk should have listened.