Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Wednesday Must Read

By Robert Gammon
Wed, Jun 9, 2010 at 11:03 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. There are no black jurors in the murder trial of Johannes Mehserle, a white ex-BART cop who fatally shot Oscar Grant, a young black man. The Trib reports that of the five black potential jurors, two were dismissed by the judge in the case, while the other three were dismissed by Mehserle’s attorney, Michael Rains, during routine questioning yesterday. The 12-person jury includes seven whites and five apparent Latinos, and includes four people who have some connection to law enforcement.

2. BART gave its police officers their Tasers back after two months of additional training, the CoCo Times reports. The agency took away the Tasers following a series of court rulings and after a BART officer shot a suspect from his car. Mehserle has maintained in his murder trial that he meant to use his Taser on Grant, but mistakenly pulled out his pistol instead.

3. The BART Board of Directors also is asking for advice from the public in what to do with an unexpected budget surplus of $4 million to $5 million, the Chron reports. Some board members who are running for office in the fall have suggested a temporary fare decrease.

4. A majority of Oakland City Council members likely will forgo their annual pay increase in solidarity with workers who have endured pay cuts or have been laid off, the Trib reports. Under the City Charter, council members get an annual raise of at least equal to the Consumer’s Price Index, which went up by 1.7 percent last year. The part-time council members are entitled to a raise from $72,859 to $74,098.

5. And attorneys in the Prop. 8 gay-marriage trial are preparing for closing arguments next week, following a series of pointed questions by the judge in the case, the Chron reports.

6. Finally, if you haven’t seen our election results coverage, click here.

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