Oscar Grant Trial in the News

oscar grant.jpg
photo via Flickr/Thomas Hawk

The trial of BART officer Johannes Mehserle, who is accused of fatally shooting 22-year-old Oscar Grant at a BART station on New Year's Day in 2009, is postponed for a furlough day. While we wait for the case to resume, The Snitch looked at how the media has covered the case thus far.

The trial in real Twitter time, as reported for Oakland Local and other news organizations: OscarGrantTrial. The latest: A juror dismissed for nodding off, our own Peter Jamison reports.

SF Gate focuses on the how the court analyzed the video evidence and the technical manner in which Mehserle shot Grant.

Though the video, BART weapon training ,and the emotions out on display were highlighted in the press today, earlier coverage focused on the case's racial overtones, pitting black (Grant) against white (Mehserle). Because of the absence of black jurors, some believe that the jury, though still racially mixed, will acquit Mehserle. Others zeroed in on how, historically and regardless of race, juries seldom convict officers.

There's also the issue of the trial being moved from the Bay Area, where the shooting occurred, to Los Angeles, due to concern that extensive media coverage here would have too much pull. Some see this as a scheme to bury the case under the outpouring of celebrity news in Los Angeles.

A reporter from Oakland's Youth Radio/Youth Media International says that though he doesn't think the case should go quietly, he's grateful for the dearth of cameras in the courtroom, expressing concern that the jury could succumb to public pressure.

Another point of contention: Mehserle says he meant to shoot Grant with a Taser instead of a gun. Though many have decried what they see as an impossible mix-up, even more impossible is attempting to get inside someone's mind and prove his or her intent. When in doubt, citizens usually believe cops, The Atlantic writes.

Related news:
State Senate Committee on Public Safety Considers Legislation Designed To Exert More Control Over BART Officers

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