I live in Oakland and saw this on local news as it broke. At that time the story was nebulous, but even then, it was one that we’ve heard TOO many times before: police officer shoots unarmed, young, black man. As much as I knock Big Brother, I think that the omnipresence of technology and video surveillance has been integral in eliciting the outraged response that this story deserves. Eleven years ago, another BART officer who shot an unarmed black man received no reprimand and the story received virtually no coverage. But to see – with your own eyes, from multiple sources – the same footage of a man being shot as he lie on the ground, the injustice becomes a fact, not a contestable account.
Because I saw this story when it broke, I was concerned that – like so many congruent stories from years past – it would get swept under the bureaucratic rug. But I’m glad to see that not only has the local media stayed with the story, but there has also been national coverage.
The senseless murder (yeah, I said murder) of Oscar Grant is so very tragic. But if nothing else, it has served as a catalyst for a national dialog on police, power, and race. From Amadou Diallo to Patrick Andrew Mason (who was just 5-years-old when he was killed by the police), I hope that justice will finally be served in the case of Oscar Grant.
The footage has made me cry every time I saw it. It’s fucking incomprehensible.
anger, yes. structured political movement, vs random rioting and destruction of property? yes.