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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 7/13/10

Police Brutality in America

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Police Brutality in America - by Stephen Lendman


Across America, daily incidents occur, one of many the cold-blooded January 1, 2009 murder of Oscar Grant - unarmed, offering no resistance, thrust face-down on the ground, shot in the back, and killed, videotaped on at least four cameras for irrefutable proof. USA Today said five bystanders taped it.


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His killer: Oakland, CA transit officer, Johannes Mehserle, tried for the killing, the jury told to consider four possible verdicts - innocent, second-degree murder, voluntary manslaughter, or involuntary manslaughter, jurors deciding the latter.


The Legal Dictionary defines it as "The act of unlawfully killing another human being unintentionally," the absence of intent distinguishing it from voluntary manslaughter. Many states don't define it or do it vaguely. Wallin & Klarich Violent Crime Attorneys say in California it carries a two - four year sentence. However, since a gun was used, Judge Robert Perry can add three to 10 additional years.

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Because minority victims seldom get justice, especially against police, Mehserle may serve minimal time, then be paroled quietly when the current furor subsides.


After the verdict, it erupted on Oakland streets, hundreds turning out to protest, Bay Area indymedia.org saying:


"The actions of the Police in Oakland tonight (including dozens of arrests) show their disrespect for justice in General. Their heavy handed violence towards protestors just reinforces their total disconnect with the people of Oakland." It's as true everywhere across America, police acting like Gestapo, usually unaccountably.

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Grant's family will appeal the verdict and is suing the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) for $25 million, his mother Wanda Johnson saying "My son was murdered (and) the law has not held the officer accountable." It rarely does for Black, Latino, or other minorities, no matter the injustice, civil rights lawyer John Burris, representing Grant's family in the civil suit, saying:


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I was born in 1934, am a retired, progressive small businessman concerned about all the major national and world issues, committed to speak out and write about them.
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