…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.