Oscar Grant by Transit Police

Oakland Police shoot restrained man in the back.

This story has been buzzing around the media for a while and I’ve been listening and reading about it on the web.  Some of the comments I’ve read about the shooting of Oscar Grant range from outright racist, to just plain ignorant.  If you are delusional enough to think racism is a thing of the past, an incident like this really allows people to voice their true colors, with the anonymity of the internet.  The whole situation is very sad really, and contrary to what some people may think, although he was a black man, he didn’t have any past history of gang violence, drug dealing or “thugery” of any kind.

The problem that usually arises after these incidents is that when the police do something wrong, they are rarely penalized or put to justice. It is just insane how many people of colour (not just black folk) have been shot and killed by the police, with some outlandish reasons and excuses. Common sense should tell you that not ALL police are bad.  If they were, we’d be seeing and hearing about issues every day. But the problem is, when one bad cop does show up, the outcome is usually favorable for the police.  They get suspended with pay and then cleared of all wrong doing. That is the real problem and why people, including myself,  have little faith or trust in the police.

As sad as this story is, I am glad that video has surfaced showing exactly what happened. It should be clear to anyone that this young man was face down, restrained and appeared to require no further action.  The officer that shot Mr. Grant claims it was an accident, since he meant to fire his taser and not his revolver.  I’m no gun expert, but from photo’s and video I have seen, a gun and a taser seem quite different from each other, so a trained officer of the law should be able to make that distinction.

Accident or not, Oscar Grant was restrained and then he was shot and killed. We will see how this investigation will be handled and what happens to the officer in question.  There are reports (Injustice In Seatle)  that say an investigation on other officers on the scene of this incident should be investigated as well. All I know is that if I or any other regular citizens did something like that, I’m pretty sure we would not have time to resign from our job and sit at home waiting for the investigation.  We’d be in cuffs and sitting in a holding cell somewhere.

I know the people of Oakland are outraged by yet another police incident, but I hope they can come to their own senses and stop all the rioting and other actions that do more damage than good for their cause.  I can only think that Oscar Grant, his daughter and his wife/girlfriend would see it as counter-productive.  By all means, protest, make your voice heard as loud as necessary, but please draw the line at breaking the law.

I have my doubts on this case, but I hope the video and the amount of witnesses present can make the outcome unfavorable for the officer, or should I say ex-officer.  I would be glad to hear of any updates you find on your web travels.

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