Jonathan Riley 
Member since Jan 14, 2010


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Re: “Nothing Says ‘Justice’ Like a New Pair of Sneakers

Clearly, seeing as you are commenting on this story at this hour, you were not one of the people arrested last night. Neither was I, in fact I didn't go down there at all. That's because a guilty verdict, even on the lesser charge, is a victory in this case. Sure, Mehserle deserves worse, but this is the biggest police brutality case since Rodney King. A conviction on anything is a victory, and sends a message to would-be crooked cops.
I did, however, spend the night in jail after covering the first riot on January 7, 2009, along with 100 or so people who were on Broadway between 18th and 19th when the SWAT teams came. In Santa Rita I got the opportunity to talk to many rioters and found that, indeed, many of them were anarchists and other random white people from out of town who came to do some kind of riot-tourism in Oakland, where they felt they would get away with it and have some fun. The next day Grant's family spoke out against violence in his name, and Mehserle was soon charged. Grant's family had continued to speak out against violence, but nonetheless, even with a guilty verdict, people decided to destroy shit in downtown Oakland again. Last night, the tribune reported graffiti that said "Oakland is our amusement park tonight!" That wasn't about justice for Oscar Grant.

Posted by Jonathan Riley on 07/09/2010 at 12:53 PM

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