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In July 2010 America came to a standstill and watched television as Lebron James held a much-hyped press conference to announce he would be leaving Cleveland to play for the Miami Heat.  In January 2009 America came to a standstill and watched YouTube as BART transit officer Johannes Mehserle pulled out his gun, pointed it at an unarmed, pinned down Oscar Grant, and shot him in the back. Today, Cleveland wept as it lost a star basketball player. Today, Oakland wept as a Los Angeles jury returned a guilty verdict of involuntary manslaughter in Mehserle’s trial.

We have seen this movie before, and it’s genre is Horror, but it also goes by the labels Absurdity, Farce and Injustice.

The Rachel Maddow show did an excellent rundown tonight:

Involuntary manslaughter was the lightest possible conviction. The DA sought a murder conviction. According to the SF Chronicle (who’s reporting I trust on sentencing more than the video above), Mehserle faces five to 14 years

Mehserle’s possible sentence for involuntary manslaughter is two, three or four years, plus three, four or 10 years for using a gun. That means the minimum total sentence that Judge Robert Perry could impose would be five years, and the maximum would be 14 years.

Horrific. Injustice.

Mehserle claims he was attempting to use his taser but instead removed and discharged his .40 caliber handgun.

This local newscast was interrupted by an Oakland man yelling “fuck the police.”


Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums called for peaceful protests.

A slight aside.

In Nevada, Senate candidate Sharron Angle, the latest freakish incarnation of political insanity that bears the label Republican, has said on numerous occasions that if we don’t get the political outcome we want through the system, we might have to resort to “Second Amendment remedies.” So in the face of this latest injustice in Oakland, I assume she won’t mind if I grab a gun and fire off a few rounds at law enforcement while wearing an Angle For Senate 2010 hoodie.

Attention law enforcement, you can still kill black people indiscriminately. If there’s no independent video evidence, you walk. If there are five independent cameras covering the incident plus a platform surveillance camera, you take a time out for a few years, then you walk.

Two black men dominated the news this evening. Lebron James was honored with national attention as he announced his plans for future success. Oscar Grant was dishonored as his death was treated like a nuissance. Maybe Grant should have been a better basketball player.

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