Mini-Riot Breaks out in Oakland Protesting…

…not Gaza, but a police officer shooting a man in the back. According to this breaking news story featured in the Mercury News:

Downtown Oakland became the site of a mini-riot Wednesday night, after a relatively peaceful demonstration that began at the Fruitvale BART Station turned violent.
The scene was surreal.
Cars were burned, windows of cars and downtown businesses were smashed, Dumpsters were overturned and tempers flared.
Scores of protesters were arrested as the disturbance progressed and the police cordoned off numerous city streets in the area between 14th and Jackson streets, and back around to 14th and Broadway.
City Center was shown, as was the 12th Street BART Station. Earlier the Fruitvale and Lake Merritt BART

I hope that there are a few Muslims who do worry about police killing restrained civilians with their faces in the dirt. The things that is frightening is that the young man didn’t seem to be resisting. There was no need for that much force. Was it some adrenaline rush? Did he lose his mind? What makes videos like this even scarier is that what if no one recorded this following:

Without the video, I’m sure that the authorities would have discredited the account Mario Pangelina Jr. gave in this article.

Mario Pangelina Jr., whose sister had a 4-year-old daughter with Grant, said he was on the same train as Grant that night, but on a different car. He said he saw Grant’s interactions with police immediately before the shooting.
“First, an officer grabbed Oscar by the neck and pushed him against the wall,” Pangelina said. “Oscar didn’t fight him, but he didn’t go down either. He was like, ‘What did I do?’ Then another officer came up with his Taser and held it right in his face. Oscar said, ‘Please don’t shoot me, please don’t Taser me, I have a daughter,’ over and over again, real fast, and he sat down.”
Grant was the only man in a small group sitting against the wall who was not handcuffed, Burris said, so officers grabbed him away from the wall and pressed him belly-down onto the ground.
“One officer was kneeling over his neck and head, and another standing over him,” Burris said. “He was not kicking, and one officer was pulling on his arm. The standing officer pulled out his weapon and, within moments, fired the gun into Mr. Grant’s back.”
Burris said the bullet went through Grant’s lower back and ricocheted off the ground up into his lungs, killing him.

To me this story is absolutely chilling. I’ve written before, several times, about the first time I remember my mother crying was when she learned that her only brother was gunned down by the Trenton police. That could have been my brother who was often pulled over and handcuffed for no other reason than driving while Black [and sometimes Black while playing loud music]. So I grew up with a real awareness about police brutality and the importance that the police force be held accountable to its citizenry.

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7 thoughts on “Mini-Riot Breaks out in Oakland Protesting…

  1. Assalaamualaikum-

    I had to watch that video more than once because I cannot believe what I’m seeing. This is sickening.

    You know one of the things that I have always wondered/worried about (as an African American Muslim with brothers, brother in-laws, a husband) is the rhetoric of being a good citizen in some American Muslim discourse, in some sense a model minority identification, that allows us not to see honestly the discrepancies in how different citizens, African-Americans and Latinos, are policed.

    Post 9/11 there is more an awareness of profiling but from an immigrant Muslim gaze. There is a casual detachment from issues like these boistered by stereotypes of black criminality.

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  2. I’m seriously crying right now. I just watched the other video featured on the newspaper’s website. Why did he shoot him like that???

    I just don’t understand it-this is so sickening.

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  3. asa. i would like to be surprised by this but having lived in oakland (or just living in the real world for that matter) and participating in a few demonstrations, i am not. $25 million is nothing compared to the loss of life, even one.

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  4. Here is a “better” video of the incident:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=idJAr6NUy3E

    This would have been swept under the rug without all the video around. There are reports on the net that they did take some cell phones away from people on the platform. That’s why most of the videos are from people on the train.

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  5. My God… that is f**king psychotic. I have seen cops go psycho before – in a mall in Jersey City, NJ where alot of “ghetto” kids hang out. This cop already had some kid against the wall, then commenced breaking his legs with his baton, the guy fell over and got a few more in his legs because he was yelling in pain. I didn’t know what to do at that point, but later realized I should have reported the incident. A large reason this type of stuff is accepted is because people think it is perfectly legal.

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  6. …and it just gets worse. There are good, decent police officers and then there are the pigs. To bad the pig mentality has taken over so much power over the years and it only get worse every year as the same rhetoric they use brow beats the citizenry into believing what they do is for our own good.
    It’s a bad as the old, worn out rhetoric about dropping the soap in prison. We all but make hero’s out of prison rapists who prey on smaller, weaker inmates as IF they do the rest of us some savage and perverted favor.
    Meanwhile many guards look the other way and won’t even protect the young and defenseless behind bars.

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