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Ear to the Ground

BART Officer’s Murder Trial Nears a Climax

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Posted on Jun 27, 2010
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Video shot by fellow train passengers is at the heart of the trial of a BART transit officer in the killing of Oscar Grant.

Oscar Grant was killed on New Year’s Day 2009 in Oakland by a white transit police officer in a case that has drawn comparisons to the notorious Rodney King case in Los Angeles. The trial of the BART officer on a murder charge was moved to L.A., where the jury could start deliberations this week.
—JCL

Los Angeles Times:

The grainy videos of the killing have been played over and over in a Los Angeles courtroom.

On two large television screens, a white transit police officer is shown reaching for his holster as he struggles with a black man lying face-down on an Oakland train station platform. The officer draws his handgun and fires a single bullet into the man’s back.

The images, captured by witnesses, lie at the center of a rare criminal trial in which a police officer is charged with murder for an on-duty shooting. The jury, which could begin deliberating as early as this week, must decide whether the shooting was intentional or, as the officer contends, a tragic mistake.

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By sharonsj, June 29, 2010 at 11:48 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

When I first read about this, I also wondered if the officer reached for the wrong thing and pulled the trigger too soon.  He was a rookie and he claims he confused the gun with a taser.  But they have different configurations, don’t they?

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By grumpynyker, June 29, 2010 at 6:35 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

What’s the matter; you wine-sipping racists scared
shitless that the exoneration of Oscar Grant’s killers
may lead to a LA riot situation?  I’m surprised the
trial wasn’t moved to some police bedroom community
(Simi Valley) for a quick exoneration or opted for a
bench trial; not unlike what happened in NY for the
murder of Amadou Diallo.

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By Jim Yell, June 28, 2010 at 3:37 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Rodney King, after frequent encounters with the police, because he Rodney King refused to be a responsible driver and was and remained a drunk and drugged driver his whole life.

What would the general public have felt if the cops had thrown up their hands and said “Well we can’t do anything to contain these types of crimes so the public will have to protect itself.” In fact they stopped King and while they should not have taken the punishement of King on themselves, it is notible that the passenger of King was not touched by the officers, only King a notorious and dangerouosly irresonsible driver felt the anger of having repeatedly caused dangerous chases that were dangerous to the public in general the officers who had to chase him.

In other words the case the aritcle was dealing with had no comparason to King, unless you are telling us that the officer in the case also had been driven to react by repeated violations of the dead man?

I am not always on the side of the police and I have very strong objections to taser use and many other excesses. But Rodney King proved time and again that he was a chronic danger to everyone including himself. It was unfortunate that the officers lost control of their comon sense once they had him collared, but sad as it is the Police and Public are not always wrong to want protection.

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By Tobysgirl, June 28, 2010 at 8:18 am Link to this comment

The endless promotion of the police as heroes leads precisely to this sort of murder. At best, they are ordinary folks given power and weaponry; at worst, they are thugs. I am old enough to remember the demand for citizen oversight of the police—hahaha!

We lived in a violent, militarized, and racist society. Maybe when we stop pretending we’re peace-loving sweetie pies we can start creating a better place to live.

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By diamond, June 27, 2010 at 9:53 pm Link to this comment

He’s no different to many other US cops. American cops are notorious all over the world for their corruption, their viciousness and their shoot first and ask questions later attitude to the citizens who pay their wages. You need a standing corruption commission set up just for the police. Good luck with trying to do it. Anyone who tries to set it up should watch their back because American cops think nothing of beating and killing people, they see it as part of their job. I think there are 300 million guns floating around in the American community and you don’t get that level of gun ownership (and gun craziness) in a society where law and order is working and people mostly trust the cops to do their job in a responsible way.

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By mike112769, June 27, 2010 at 8:37 pm Link to this comment

The cop should be found guilty of at least manslaughter. He is clearly incompetent.

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