On June 10, 2010, the trial of Johannes Mehserle, former Bay Area Transit (BART) cop, opened in Los Angeles. Mehserle shot and killed 22-year-old Oscar Grant.
This is the first time in California’s history that a cop faces murder charges for actions taken while on duty, despite the all too common occurrence of police killings of Africans and Mexicans.
In the early hours of January 1, 2009, at the Fruitvale BART platform in Oakland, CA, BART police pulled Grant and several passengers off a BART train, allegedly after reports of fighting. Mehserle shot Grant at close range, while lying on his belly on the platform, having been already subdued by another cop.
The brutal killing of Oscar Grant was caught on a number of videos and was broadcast for the world to see. The footage sparked an outpouring of resistance by the African community in Oakland and an outcry heard around the world.
Because of the resistance and publicity of the case, California moved the trial from Oakland to Los Angeles.
The state used similar tactics during the trial of the twelve Los Angeles cops in the beating of Rodney King in the 1990s. The King trial was moved to a mostly white area called Simi Valley, and all twelve cops were acquitted.
Even if Mehserle is not convicted of murder, the state has set up a jury that will split the African and Mexican communities in Los Angeles and elsewhere. While there are seven Latinos and five whites, there are no African people on the jury.
The tactic is similar to the way in which colonial states create antagonism between African and Mexican people inside prisons.
Whether it is the Oakland or Los Angeles police, the transit cops or the brutal Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), both the African and Mexican communities are under siege throughout the U.S. from a policy of police containment.
The Uhuru Movement understands that real justice will not be found in the courts but in the struggle for control over our lives, as we challenge the policies that maim, brutalize, kill us and keep us powerless.
The Uhuru Movement calls on Africans, Mexicans and all allies of our liberation movement to unite against colonialism.
Regardless of the jury’s outcome, we must put the state on trial for this murder and for the brutality against our people.
SMASH COLONIAL POLICE VIOLENCE!
ALL POWER TO THE PEOPLE!