The isoaklandburning.com bit is really touching and thoughtful. Cheers to whoever runs that.

"No reasonable trier of fact could have concluded that Mehserle intentionally fired his gun."

Say again?
First, criminal conduct like the one shown by Oscar Grant should be restrained and prevented. This should be done by legal methods and commensurate force. Killing him - obviously - had been blatantly brutal and illegal.

Second, the police is a unionized, poorly trained, unprofessional mafia. Hence the joke of a sentence to a criminal from their own ranks. Moreover, they yet again showed their impotence when failed to properly handle and quell the violent "protests".

Note that we - the taxpayers - are essentially paying for local gov-t's settlements over the crimes committed by the so called "law enforcement".

Living in Oakland, I am glad that all attempts to increase the tax to support the unionized mafia have failed. Next step should be a consideration a private security contractors on a neighborhood basis. Especially considering Perata/Quan duo shortlisted for the mayor post. Additionally, the de-facto prohibition on concealed carry around Bay Area should be fought with all legal means. Time to create people militia.
The second link just has a mp3 playing (well, and very little text).

I have a slightly different viewpoint on events, owing to Penguin playing in a band with several former police officers and the things they've seen. Mehserle did something horrendous, yes, but he probably faces things on a daily basis that most of us have the luxury of deciding, "Nah. Passing on going there." I think it is possible that he confused his taser with his gun in that very crucial moment.

To me, that shows that he's probably not cut out for this line of work, at the very least.

Now, if it comes out that he has a history of being racist and all of that, then I'll be more than onboard to see him sent to jail for the maximum prison sentence and to get all that entails. Until that comes to light, I do think this could have been a horrible, horrible mistake.
he absolutely did not confuse his tazer with his gun. i understand that this is the defense that his team chose to go with, but it was a pretty weak defense from the getgo considering mersearle wasn't even wearing a taser that night, and he handled his gun several times during the situation (in the testimony (and viewable on the videos) they go over how he repeatedly kept holding and stroking his gun butt while standing over restrained persons. at another point in the video you can see that the gun is unstrapped. he would have also had to undo the safety which is in a completely different spot than on a gun. "taser confusion" is the "she was asking for it" defense of police brutality) . standard procedure here is to wear the tazer on the opposite side of the body for a cross body draw exactly to avoid this issue, and bart cops received hundreds of hours of extra training on these issues because they received a lot of the post-911 disaster and terrorist training money. crucial testimony from the people who were arrested with grant (and remember, they didn't do anything wrong to begin with. grant and his friends broke up a fight and forced the fighters off the train. then they were arrested and pulled off the train by cops despite multiple people saying they did nothing wrong and were protecting several women on the train from being unintentionally involved) was struck during discovery and the prosecution (remember, prosecutions hate prosecuting cops) chose not to use other parts, that testimony being (from several people) that mehserle said "fuck it" immediately before shooting grant.

i have a lot of experience with cops too. several of my uncles are on local forces, and the police chief in town is zoe's best friend's mother going back something like 10 yr now. not to mention i know every cop in this town on a close personal basis and went to school with most of them, since most of them are local. cops are just like everyone else. there are cops that are nice, there are cops that are dicks, there are cops that will uphold their badge, and there are cops that will abuse authority. mehserle didn't need to be an all out klan racist to kill grant. he just needed to be the kind of racist that most people in the bay area are, willing to believe the worst in every black or brown man they see. grant never should have even been pulled off the train that night, let alone cuffed and tased. even going that far would have been too far. he was just a nice guy trying to go home to his family after NYE, and instead they decided that since he was wearing dark clothing and had dark skin, he was obviously a troublemaker that needed to be taught a lesson, or whatever reasons they had. the real deal is, if grant had been white, he never would have been pulled off that train to begin with. what people are mad about isn't that mehserle is a kkk screaming jackass who wants to kill all black people. thats the point that dely was making on isoaklandburning, which is over here: http://isoaklandburning.com/friday.html now. the reason people are mad is this kind of stuff goes on every day. my cousin gets hassled daily on his way to work at the docks, because he has to wear all black on that welding team, and as a mexican in all black, it looks like a gang uniform. if anything, you can just look at the way cops handled two different riotous gatherings in the past week, the giants (mostly white working class) rioters, where cops stood by as thousands of dollars of property damage and injuries happened. vs the oscar grant (mostly poc) memorial protests where they trucked in cops from as far away as monterey and wouldn't even let them peacefully walk down a deserted street hours after rush hour or any legit traffic. and people are mad that for ending this guys life, and leaving his little girl an orphan, his wife a widow, that mehserle only got 2yrs. even his own force immediately distanced themselves from him, in an entirely unusual style (usually police close ranks and then you have to deal with the blue line. which is super annoying, i can tell you from trying to pin down info during fajitagate) when even an officer's own force deserts him and won't support him, you know something he did was seriously wrong.
I wasn't aware of all of these other details. In light of them, yes, Mehserle did get off way too easy.


for every legit arrest in the bay area, i can tell you ten stories of non-legit police abuse. there are a lot of BAD cops here. this is where the Oakland Riders were from. this is a place where there are legit, sanctioned gangs within police forces that sell drugs and do beatdowns. this is where fajitagate happened, a scandal so big it took down 2 police chiefs. this is where shit happens like kids getting detained by cops solely to force them to be tardy to school, putting their scholastic futures in jeopardy. this is a place where they will pen in a peaceful protest on all sides, and squeeze down the crowds until people start to struggle to get out so they can justify launching in tear gas (i have covered hundreds of this same story over the years in a variety of different protest situations. my favorite was when they tried this during a dockworkers protest and all the cops almost got fired when the unions pointed out to mayor brown that they wouldn't be supporting him next election cycle) the office of public service doesn't automatically make a person a saint, nor does it automatically qualify all of their reasons and actions as just. the reason mehserle wasn't given murder is because they couldn't prove without a reasonable doubt to the jury that he intended to shoot grant in that moment absolutely knowingly. but that is because the testimony of witnesses crucial to establishing that point was struck because said witnesses were societies less desirables, and because we are still using the office to give him half a pass, and pretending there was a legit reason to pull out any weapon that night and use it on a prone handcuffed man on the floor, because since he was asking them not to tase him as he had a heart condition, that meant he was "resisting".
So Menserle or whatever his name is only got 2 years?

I really have no words. I don't understand how that can be. Even if it truly was an "accident", how can 2 years be enough?