Spoiler Alert :: Fruitvale Station

Black history has been impacted in many ways this month, and not exactly all by events and circumstances controllable by Black Afrikan Amerikkkans(Black African Americans). On February 26, 2012, Trayvon Benjamin Martin was shot and murdered by George “Georgie” Zimmerman in Sanford, Florida. July 13, 2013, five white women and a racial straggler found Georgie Zimmerman ‘not guilty’. A week later, Bridget and I decided to catch a midday screening of the independent film written and directed by Ryan Coogler, “Fruitvale Station”.

 

Fruitvale Station

 

I pretty much assumed “based on a true story” just meant they used names of historical personalities but left out the good parts of their actual history

I am always a bit skeptical with cinema reenactments. After I read Chris Gardner’s “The Pursuit of Happyness”, and then watched the Will Smith “turned down” for nominations of the Academy kind adaptation, I pretty much assumed “based on a true story” just meant they used names of historical personalities but left out the good parts of their actual history. The handling of Oscar Julius Grant III by Coogler– and those that mentored him out of Forrest Whitaker’s camp– was slightly less delicate, although, I still have my reservations. The portrayal of anyone whose name has become as socially infused with the ideas germinated when discussing senseless murder of Blacks by incompetent White cops, neighborhood watchers, vigilantes, and the like, has to almost always be one of two presentations: documentary style reenactment or dramatic recounting of events with liberties taken for the sake of emotional appeal.

 

Instead of making a choice, in true US Black fashion, Ryan decides to mix both flavors. And from that decision, I believe, in the same thinking as Armond White on this film, is where Ryan departs from an impeccable presentation of Oscar Grant and the events leading up to his murder. Instead, we are left with one in which overly dramatic cinematic devices are scattered throughout what is more masterful during its more subtle renderings.

 

This reproduction of stereotypical young Black America –no matter how interwoven the sensitivities– does not remind me how “human” Oscar was. The bullet placed in his back by a maladroit public servant reminds me how human Oscar Grant was..

 

The movie starts out with us overhearing a conversation between Oscar and his girlfriend, the mother of his daughter, Sophina. From their two to three lines capturing an intimate moment before the black screen of credits is even lifted, we are thrust into the camera phone recording of the murder of Oscar Grant at the Fruitvale Station by Bay Area Rapid Transit cop, Johannes Mehserle. It is this sort of juxtaposition of real life footage, and drama, that leaps out at you as reminder that yes, this is Coogler’s first time at bat.

 

The chemistry between Melonie Diaz(Lords of Dogtown, A Guide To Recognizing Your Saints)– who plays Sophina –and Michael Bakari Jordan(The Wire, Chronicle)– who fills the role of Oscar– is compelling and refreshing. Once again, I have to agree with Armond White, the cast truly brings this storyline through all of its rough patches. The strength of the movie is not so much in the hair-pin trigger anger displayed throughout the film by the character of Oscar– although Michael elicits multidimensional range here– it is the interactions of Oscar with his mother, played by Octavia Spencer(The Help), as well as his relationship with his daughter, Tatiana–played by Ariana Neal.

 

The existentialist approach to Oscar was lackluster. The scene where he is sitting by the water is only buttressed by the flashback of him being visited in prison by his mother. The dramatic fulcrum of this film should have been the redemptive aspect, symbolized in him tossing an ounce of weed into the ocean(which, by the way guys, was underplayed as a device, and overplayed as a prop. An ounce of weed has never looked that large!).

 

I was deeply moved by the scene of Oscar with his mother in prison. It is scenes like this that– although in this storyline a device for foreshadowing and historical maintenance– balance the narrative with the outlying socio-political framework that many US Blacks face in this country. I was also carried to personal reflection by the scene depicting Oscar, Sophina, and Oscar’s family sharing his mother’s birthday celebration together. This is definitely where Coogler shines in his storytelling, the soft scores of composer Ludwig Garrinson guiding us through what is a woman’s last day with her son, which also happens to be her born day.

 

I was appalled by the red-nose pit scene. It is a symbolism almost as unnecessary and way too blatant as the withering plant in Hansberry’s “Raisin in the Sun”. The subtle details of Christmas decorations still left up on New Year’s Eve and discussions of Superbowl picks based on the racial make up of the coach where well received.

 

As stated, the on-screen chemistry of Michael and Melonie creates a solidifying cohesive. When we see Oscar and Sophina dropping off Tatiana at Sophina’s sister house, I almost forget that they were an interracial couple, technically. Which is one of the reasons I felt like the characterization of Oscar Grant and his “flaws” were over pronounced in the writing. It did not leave much for new discussions in cinema. US Black men are always characterized as violent, angry, criminal, or the complete opposite. This reproduction of stereotypical young Black America –no matter how interwoven the sensitivities– does not remind me how “human” Oscar was. The bullet placed in his back by a maladroit public servant reminds me how human Oscar Grant was.

 

In that need for Coogler to prioritize the relationship between Oscar and Tatiana, he walks away with a winner here. And sure, even in that, we have to be a bit lenient while sitting through a scene that plays on the “fruit” in “Fruitvale”, the “Fruit” in the banner above the daycare center that Tatiana attends, and the “Fruit” in the “Fruitroll” that Oscar Grant secretly gives his “fruit”. This along with what has to be an homage to John Singleton’s slow motion edit of Rickey being shot when Oscar is racing Tatiana to the car in what also happens to be her last time being picked up from daycare by her father.

 

Octavia Spencer captured the disappointment of a mother visiting her son in prison and witnessing his lack of change. This is a conversation that never reaches the population without a misdirection such as in “Jason’s Lyric” between Joshua and Gloria, or even worse, in “The Wire” between D’Angelo and Brianna. However, I did want Octavia to give me another Oscar nominated performance with her lines begging to hug Oscar outside of his emergency room after finding out he had not made it through. The lack of a convincing depiction here made me wish Coogler had just done a documentary.

 

In summation, “Fruitvale Station” is definitely a much needed movie, especially during these times of crisis. My criticism is more a question of device than topic. At the end of the hour, it is still a movie, and regardless of the social symbols discussed, I will treat it as film art. But, because of the social symbols, and this being added alongside the cultural artifacts used to immortalize the discussion, I do feel compelled to write that I wish Ryan would have chosen one of the models and left the poetic devices for the novelists. That being written, I hope to see more from Coogler, along with more cinematic representations of Oscar.

Are We Prepared If George Zimmerman Never Gets Arrested?

I remember the apathy after many of us realized that Oscar Grant’s murderer Johannes Mehserle was not going to be tried for murder. I remember the sense of loss many shared when his slap on the wrist came down from the judge. I can still feel the streaming tears as the video tape of Aiyana Jones was never released. Often Afkan(Afrikan Amerikkkans) are forced to swallow bitter realities. Realities such as Trayvon Martin’s killer possibly never being arrested.

 

We are now picking up on the message from The New Black Liberation Militia to seek a citizen’s arrest of George Zimmerman. This could possibly be a costly measure given Zimmerman’s penchant for hurling fragments of burning metal into Afkan bodies and calling the police on him Self in defense from grand juries. Yet, I realize that there isn’t much else in the matter of Ma’at(human enforced justice for human enforced injustice) that anyone is volunteering. My Asylum salutes their efforts.

 

Afkan peoples of an above and beyond the blindness of naivete sort of upbringing and/or adulthood may ask why such measures would be applauded and supported here. Well, frankly, something has to be done. Many of us have called into the Sanford Sheriff’s office to be redirected to the State’s Attorney’s office, only to be told of limited resources in the matter of arresting George Zimmerman. In fact, it could be weeks before a charge is given. Trayvon was killed February 26 of this year. The date of this writing is March 19. You figure out how upset you should or shouldn’t be.

 

I am pleased to see so many media outlets investing energy into reporting of young Trayvon’s murder. I recall the lack of support from most in information dissemination after a Detroit Police Officer sent a slug screaming through the cranium of Aiyana Jone’s sleeping head and out through the base of her chin. Unfortunately, the Afkan community can join together and help Obama corner a bloc of voters unified enough to push him past the Democratic primaries, but his vocal thoughts on the murders of Aiyana, Oscar, and now Trayvon remain disloyally silent. Tonight, a message from Obama’s administration that they wouldn’t “wade” into a human rights travesty that demands international attention on the grounds that it was a local law-enforcement matter. The violation of the Afkan community’s trust in Obama can’t be fully gathered in vibrations bouncing around pupils to form symbols of expression. The surface of my disappointment’s now breathing body is tempered only by the foreknowledge of the regret his family will face knowing Barry was the father that dropped the ball, time and time again. To enter the office as the Black president, and to leave as the half-Caucasian one that could be compared to an overseer of some grand plantation should hurt. And yet, that sweltering prophecy in my emotive heart will not replace the deep seated notion that every Afkan child around me must be reminded that we can’t trust anyone in this war for our removal from this place, this Earth.

 

As I read through countless digitally captured thoughts in the social web, I notice the emergence of self-hate revealing it Self like a tumor of Afkan psychic pulses. Afkan men are blamed for Trayvon being killed while walking down a pathway. Children ask their teachers how could Trayvon have prevented a failed lawman from slaughtering him. Those that seek to rally to bring attention to the event are labeled as misguided; those that seek blood writ are labeled as foolish. Instead of everyone involved and concern doing their part and allowing others to play their position, the whole movement for Justice for Trayvon is imploding.

 

So, as I sit and ponder how a two time felon who has just been saved from homelessness can assist the best he can in raising awareness and training of young Afkan males, my lovely Lifeline asked me,”are we prepared if George Zimmerman never gets arrested?” And all I could do for an answer was ask you…

 

Are you ready to accept what you’ve known within your most original and Eastern mind? That a half-blood prince can’t save your children from Herod’s wrath on your boys. Are you prepared? Are you prepared to accept that George Zimmerman- not Crips or Bloods, or drug dealers, or aliens that look like lizards underneath their manufactured skin- killed Trayvon Martin. Are we ready to understand that Afkan on Afkan violence is only a subset of the power structure created as White on Afkan violence crystallized into a system of society. Can we accept that a killer will be walking the streets of Florida with the confidence of a lion after feeding that he has privilege enough to murder when he chooses?

 

On the bus ride from the urban war zones to the rural concentration camps, there is an understanding shared from the veterans to the rookies,”if you ain’t ready, get ready. And once ready, stay on the ready…”

.:Guest Post:.I am Oscar Grant.

During the aftermath of the Murderer Mehserle’s sentencing, I asked Our brother @KhairiAkili to write a few paragraphs regarding the outcome. These are his thoughts, and I agree with them 178%.

I am a bullet-riddled message to The People about the value of their lives. I am worth less than a dead dog or the thigh of a high paid athlete. I am the complete opposite of the “man” on the other side of the trigger. At least to them. Ask Mumia. I went from son, to father, to statistic, and my murderer walked. Not on the merit of faulty evidence, conflicting stories, or a shadow of a doubt but for the simple fact that the person sent to judge him is his comrade. They go to war together. So even though The People are outraged, we all knew this was coming. We knew upon seeing the execution of Oscar Grant that there would be no justice. There has never been justice for us. Even when the murder was uploaded to youtube quicker than news of it got back to the precinct, we knew he would walk. And yes, two years with time served in protective custody and probation for a public execution is a fucking vacation. Yet instead of organizing to get real justice, we continue to feign surprise, tweet til we feel better, until the next time our outrage is required. We have become the most reactionary people on the planet. Why?

Why is Mehserle’s sentencing a complete surprise to some and not as important as the latest Tyler Perry movie to others? Where is our leadership? Simply, they are afraid. Fear is the only reasoning behind our “scholars’” silence in the midst of echoing gunshots aimed at our children. Can’t talk with a gun in your mouth eh? Nor when it’s filled with the system’s dick. These cowards are whoring themselves out for a title and then being held hostage by it while our people are being killed and sent to prison concentration camps in record numbers for record profits. That is America’s new cash cow and these treasonously fainthearted agents would rather be pets than cattle. Their goal of reform from within is an excuse. Point blank. It is an excuse to keep from fighting. It is an excuse to not potentially become a Fred Hampton, Malcolm X or Martin Luther King, Jr. To die for the people in the pursuit of freedom. But why is that a concern when anyone can become an Oscar Grant, Aiyana Jones, or Sean Bell? That is the message that Mehserle was sending and that judge reconfirmed. Oscar Grant could be anyone and nothing can save you. Your money, degrees and Gucci are not bulletproof.

What do we do now? With our so-called leaders distracted by the comforts their title has afforded them, it is up to every man and women to protect themselves and their children. Every state sponsored gunshot should have been a call to action. If we plan to survive we first need to recognize that we are at war. Next we need to be able to provide our families with food, clothing, shelter and defense for and by ourselves. I’m not advocating armed struggle…yet. We haven’t even exhausted nonviolent means of combat. In a capitalistic society, money is a weapon and we are constantly arming our enemy. Buy in your community from people that are in your community, reinvest in your community and by all means, defend your investment. So when the system sends it’s couriers to us, we will have a message of our own from them.

Oscar Grant and The Mehserle Verdict: Why There Was No Justice (Part ii)

Consciousness is the opposite of indiffence, of blindness, blankness. Promoting consciousness involves the general dissemination of the concept that each of us is part of a universal action and interaction; that poles are somewhere connected; that there are material causes for trauma, vertigo, degenerative disease.””Consciousness is knowedge, recognition, foresight; common experience and perception; sensibility, alertness, mindfulness.

No argument has any substance if it conflicts with the objectice conditions, the clear, incontrovertible facts.- George Jackson, Blood In My Eyes

I stopped saying “Life is a bytch” a little over a year ago and replaced it with a more succinct disdain, namely, “Fuck society”.

As I was hosted today by two very dedicated Black businessmen seeking my expertise( visit here for details) I was drenched in the realization that many of us have talents, drive, passion, and even resources. What we lack is the necessary running capital needed to feed, clothed, and shelter our Selves while our client lists are being built. Furthermore, in my assessment, the view of Black businessmen is tainted in vitriol. We aren’t considered professional, or we simply don’t possess the credibility that our own people give to other businesses owned and ran by people of races other than the Black in the United States. We have inherited the viewpoint promoted in the media that we are untrustworthy, criminal, and various other stereotypes that style us as less than worthy to do business with.

As I was in the middle of completing a project with one of these extremely gracious brothers, and during a break, in an effort to catch the rest of a conversation I had been in the middle of on Twitter, I scrolled the screen in Social Scope fashion, and I ran across the mention of the Johaness Mehserle sentencing. Another Black businessman whom I’ve grown to be quite impressed by, As I predicted, without a law degree, just a little street knowledge, after the verdict was handed down some months ago. It is not in arrogance that I point this out, only to remind the many “more qualified” voices of dissent that addressed me that day after I posted.

I don’t speak out of ignorance, nor will I speak out of my blind academic training; I will always write from my experiences and what I know primarily. Those that felt that the “gun enhancement” ruling would weigh heavily on the sentencing, not was such. For those that thought that I was uniformed stating that the Murderer Mehserle’s time previously served would be subtracted from a minimum of two years, such is not. This is the United States of America. To date, no officer, excuse me, no white officer has been fairly tried for the slaying or brutalizing of a Black man without Blacks potentially burning a city down.

I am not promoting violence just like the United States “Justice System” promotes justice for Black people. As I have been reading more academic brothers and sisters who advertise their university credentials and personal projects, I am supposed to offer some sort of solution for this problem. I am supposed to delineate a solution to the problem of white Juries and White Judges allowing White Police Officers to murder Black youth. I’m glad we all have a clear understanding of locus of control. Too bad our sense of burden and responsibility is completely in the mud.

While those more “qualified” voices of “reason” tell us that Mehserle is “going to prison” and that this is “justice”. I beg to differ, as I have done before with accuracy. Mehserle is surely going to a cell, but he is not going to the cell that a Black man would be going into if they had commited the same act. Mehserle is going into a protected area with all of the amenities that one who can get three million dollars raised by his buddies at the BART police union in less than a month after his bail was set and have his legal defense paid for by “a statewide fund for police officers.”

Understanding that the presiding judge, Judge Perry has presumably doubled the time served, giving Murderer Mehserle ten months less time inside. Now, what those of The Asylum need to consider is that no one does ALL of the time they are sentenced to without a parole board hearing and particular guideline structures being violated(in other words, bad behavior as assessed by the parole board.) I am willing make a $100 dollar wager using escrow.com(I’m so serious) that Murderer Mehserle will be up for parole before the end of the year. I’m willing to make a $20 wager using the same application as stated above that he will be granted a release date within the first quarter of 2011. So, I surmise that the executioner of Oscar Grant, a 21-year old Black Father, Murderer Mehserle, will be in and out of prison within the next four to six months. And that’s me adding cushion for gambling purposes. If one of these grand intellectuals of scholarly might decides to take me up on the offer.

If he intended to pull his Taser and pulled his service weapon by mistake, why would he say to another officer after the fact, ‘I thought he was going for a gun’?” Creighton said in an interview before the court hearing. “Why wouldn’t he say, ‘Oh, my God, Tony, I meant to pull my Taser’ or something to that effect?

(Source)

My solution to the problem of having murdering pigs in the neighborhood and Judges letting them off: act like you know. If I killed your sister and you knew about it, how would you act? If I killed your brother, and you knew about, how would you act? I’m always intrigued by how the toughest group of people I’ve ever had to deal with can never answer these questions when it involves “giants in the land.” God, I love hypermascuinity, it is so fucking worthless and totally hypocritical.

Rest in Peace Oscar Grant and Young Aiyana Jones…

“Don’t Buy Where You Can’t Work.”

Bitch: The Other N-word…

I’ve been waiting until some of the smoke cleared before I discussed this topic.And even in me discussing it, it will be removed from the context that sparked the discussion.

When I was younger, there was a pattern of behavior that I gleaned from various brothers that I looked up to in high school. It was a certain way with young ladies that worked to establish an hierarchy within the relationship. What occurred was I would use the term, “bitch” in a loose and joking manner when referring to them. When the sister that I was talking to reacted or responded in a manner that seemed like she was offended, I’d simply say,”Damn, bitch, you get mad about stuff like that…women really are sensitive.” Depending on how the young woman took it, after awhile, in private settings, “bitch” was her name. Now, many reading this have been subjected to this similar treatment, and possibly worse.

Would anyone venture to say that what I was doing was anything short of being verbally abusive? I seriously doubt it. Would anyone question that I have some how left a psychological scar on the women, even in adulthood? Not anyone who has actually suffered it or been with someone who has. Would anyone be willing to dismiss those scars just because the women I abused in that manner started calling themselves “bitch” in play, or as an affectionate term? Is it always verbal abuse when a man calls a woman a “bitch”?

Pretty much…

What I’ve learned about words is that words are still reflective of the actual power relation. You can’t necessarily usurp the power from a word. You can only defend yourself from the psychological damage of the verbal abuse. Some might say that one shouldn’t be so sensitive, Franz Fanon said that violence is therapeutic. I’ve noticed that most people that profess the “don’t be too sensitive” frame of thinking, either don’t allow themselves to be called “bitch”, or are being verbally abused regularly, and don’t have the strength to stop it. I suppose running from it works too.

I’ve heard the argument often enough. A young boy says “bitch” in a popular song. Young ladies recite the lyrics, and say that they don’t take offense because they aren’t a bitch. It is one of those times when I wish the theory of cognitive dissonance hadn’t become so tainted by the popular. What a young woman in that mindset is really doing is justifying the use of the term. It implies that some women are “bitches”. When in fact, the use of the term with regard to a woman, has always been demeaning. It is a term used to cripple, to embolden the user; to remind women of the place in society men have established for them.

There is no way to remove the sting of the word. As long as the original users of the word in such context still remain in power, the word continues to hold on to its significance. Now, with so many issues that abound in the world of women, such as breast cancer, rape, being stoned for being raped in some places, being discriminated at the work place..should we still be so concerned that men are calling women “bitches”? Would you be concerned if someone called your mother a bitch? Do you like it when someone calls you a bitch…?

Does it matter that teenage pregnancy is back on the rise…? Sure, of course it does. Just because tens of thousands of innocent civilians are being murdered in Afghanistan doesn’t take away the travesty of Aiyana Jones’ murder, or the murder of Oscar Grant. An evil is an evil. That is a reason why jails and the courts of what we refer to as the justice system have dockets that stay full. Proper punishment for the crime, but don’t forget it is still a crime.

One last question for complete comprehension: How would you feel if white people used the word “nigger” in mainstream media as much as men use the term “bitch” in the same forums of mass communication?

What About Oscar Grant????

“What About Oscar????” Designed By J Farand

So, after the verdict in the trial of Johannes Mehserle for the death of Oscar Grant, it seems that many of us have forgotten what this was all about.

From the perspective of a black man, yes, Oscar Grant was killed. Objectively, Oscar, a young black male was shot by a police officer in the back while Oscar was handcuffed with his hands. Oscar Grant, whose iconic image is a photo manipulation of a picture that was taken while he is holding his child. So that would add father to the list of qualifying adjectives used to describe the slain man. Unfortunately, we are hearing and reading less and less about Oscar Grant, and who he was. Instead, many have decided to focus their attention on the “outrage” and the “looting” of a footlocker that became the focal point of the reports of reaction to the verdict.

Hopefully, my death would not be by murder. And even more so, not a murder at the hands of a police officer who claims he mistook the weight of a loaded nine millimeter pistol for that of a stun gun. However, in that event, I would hope for justice. Justice not only for my family and loved ones, but also for those that will never get to hear me laugh, see me smile, or read my sarcastic analysis. I would hope that in a country that demands an eye for an eye in every situation of foreign attack, that I could possible have such. Even as a humble and forgiving man, I believe that I am peaceful enough of a person to ask that society respect itself enough to eliminate the possibility of my killer walking around to commit the same sort of atrocity. In the case that retribution couldn’t be had, I would at least want people to remember me.

Justice for Oscar, should have emphasis on OSCAR. In the event of the above described malady, I would hope that when the question arose, “Who is Jay Farand?”, that the answer could be more than just another black man killed by law men. Sure, I would want the intellectual minds that have never met me to analyze and deduce the proper position they should hold. Sure, I would want those that rally the people to action to use certain propaganda tactics and sensationalism as they deem necessary. But, most of all, I’d like people to get to know me.

Get to know my aspirations that would never be realized.

Realize that I too was once a human.

A human that enjoyed my cognac smooth and cold, and often after a dish of tempura dragon rolls.

Maybe the reason it is so easy for us to forget the degree of caution a police officer should have is because we have forgotten how much we are similar. How about I bet Oscar liked watching some of the same movies and listened to some of the same music as anyone reading these words. How can we hold anyone responsible in a correct manner, if we have become so distant from one another. We have almost stopped caring. Stopped feeling.

And maybe that is why it is so easy for some of us to be objective and cold. And I understand the need for cold analysis. But I bet nobody had to use cold logic when Mehserle needed 3 million dollars for his bond. I understand that this internet, this connection of wires to networks of machines and more wires, that allows to connect to this virtual world of avatars called the web, or the interweb, can make us feel like we are really socializing and actually being connected. But how often can we just debate with words on the screen, and forget that there is another heart beating on the other end of that packet of data you just transferred?

I wouldn’t want to be relegated to someone’s critique of my slaying. I understand how difficult it can be at times to be empathetic. I understand in a climate where our humanness is boxed into a group of standards that it can be hard to remember to be humane. I know how much work it can take to see my worth without basing that on my economic class, where I went to school, who I went to school with, and what type of car I drive. I know it can be difficult to act in a humane manner, but maybe this is the time to try.

And I’m not only talking to you…I’m actually moreso talking to myself…

Riots.

Footlocker.

National Bank.

I’ve seen the images of Oakland, and I understand the need to present information…

…but what about Oscar Grant?

Oscar Grant and The Mehserle Verdict: Why There Was No Justice

As most of you may be aware of, the verdict of Johannes Mehserle who executed Oscar Grant during a routine questioning surrounding a fight on the BART train. The former officer, who was out on a 3 million dollar bond that was posted by an organization of police officers, was found guilty on charges of involuntary manslaughter. He will be facing sentencing, which can range from 2 years to four years, at a trail date tentatively scheduled for August 6th of this year. Due to the misconception held in the minds of many people, and the dire lack of knowledge surrounding this case, in my opinion, I felt it necessary to explain exactly what the punishment entails.

Firstly, a verdict is not sentencing. Some of the reaction I’ve read through the twitterverse and a few forums is that the guilty verdict was enough. Although the murderer has been found guilty, what we should also consider is the type of crime he has been convicted of, and the legalities concomitant with the sentencing. The crime of involuntary manslaughter basically says that although a person has been killed, the offending person, Mehserle, in this instance, acted without the intention to kill. Regardless of the legal language and loopholes involved in this case, a cursory look at the videotape will show that Oscar Grant had not acted in any way that should have caused the officer to use a taser, let alone a weapon. The defense in the trail used the excuse that Mehserle was reaching for his taser. Once again, I state that police officers are responsible for the lives, and deaths, of the people that pay them, and there should be no accidents. It has also been resolved that Mehserle acted out of anger in restraining Oscar, which culminated in Mehserle handcuffing and shooting Oscar while handcuffed in the back. All of this points to intent on the part of the officer. In the slight chance that the officer of the law might have mistaken a taser for a gun, the case should have been tried as voluntary manslaughter. I am not a criminal lawyer in California, but for what it is worth, I don’t think in a case like this Mehserle, or any officer, should have been tried for anything less than a Murder 2nd.

The need to explain the crime that Mehserle was convicted of is to make this next point. Due to stipulations regarding sentencing, and so that judges have a guideline, each crime has a prescribed maximum sentencing. In this instance, the maximum sentencing is only four years. Due to the overcrowding of prisons, many states have set stipulations on how much time a person can do on a sentence. Let me expound some. Just because a person is sentenced to do four years, does not mean they will have to do the whole four years in prison. That person, in this instance, Mehserle, is in the custody of the state, and can be held on parole for whatever amount of time he doesn’t do in prison. That being understood, California, and most states have a stipulation on nonviolent crimes that limits the time that nonviolent offenders spend incarcerated to 50% of their sentence. So, even if Mehserle is given the maximum punishment, he can only, within state guidelines, be held in prison for two years.

Now, given the best that this system’s justice can offer the people, Mehserle, either an incompetent liar, or just incompetent, can still be free and walking the streets in two years. He can also be released by a parole review board BEFORE the two years are met. The two years are simply a conditional release requirement, this is referred to as a CR date. That means that he can be released anytime after seeing the parole review board. His sentence is not the punishment, it is simply a parameter of his punishment.

My speculation is that even in the case of a maximum sentencing, the four years, Mehserle will be eligible to see the parole board within six months of today. Yes, today. Although he hasn’t been sentenced yet, his time begun the minute the jury stated he was guilty. That gives him a month until his sentencing, and five month thereafter. He most likely will go into protective custody, which means he will be separated from the other prisoners in the general population. We also know that he has an extremely loyal and faithful organization of officers that were willing to place 3 million dollars in the belief that he would not miss a single court date. I would seriously doubt that he will miss one day at the commissary. I’d wager all of my finances that he will have all of the creature comforts available to a prisoner in California’s correctional facilities and more.

In essence, I don’t believe that justice was served one bit today, and in my mind, from my personal experiences, Mehserle will walk away from this situation with no more than a pain from the slap on his wrist.