It’s been two years since Johannes Mehserle shot Oscar Grant on a BART platform here in the Bay Area. Â If you don’t live in these here parts, you may very well have heard about the incident anyway as it gained quite a bit of media attention. Â If you need a refresher, here’s my post from a year ago about the trial and here’s my post about the incident two weeks after it happened.
*Side note: I totally called the outcome of the trial, by the by. Â I didn’t agree with it in the least, but I knew it was where they were going to land. Â Justice isn’t blind, kids. Â She just didn’t want more lawless “protestors” protesting their way vis-a-vis riots and looting, so appeasement came in the form of involuntary manslaughter.
On July 3, 2011, Charles Hill allegedly pulled a knife on two BART police officers and got shot for it. Â All indications seem to be the shooting was good and the officers were justified. Â I’m going to get out on front on this one for those you who are not cops or have watched too much TV. Â Ready?
photo Â© 2009 Paul Sullivan | more info (via: Wylio)
They did exactly what we are trained to do. Â End of story. Â We don’t “shoot to wound” or “shoot to disarm”. Â They weren’t going to shoot the knife out of Hill’s hand. Â This isn’t Hollywood. Â Wake up. Â We have been trained that someone holding a knife can close a distance of about 20′ before most people can clear their holster. Â A person holding a knife is an immediate and deadly threat and using deadly force is absolutely justified. Â If you think any of that is untrue you are sadly misinformed and incredibly ignorant about matters such as these.
Here’s an interesting observation: Why was this “protest” a full week after the incident? Â Could it be because the suspect was white and the two officers were white and Asian? Â Seems to me the Oscar Grant incident became a racial incident because of the community of protestors and the media that repeatedly stoked the flame of racism by pointing out the difference in skin color of Grant and Mehserle. Â I won’t rehash the whole incident here.
You want racism? (Who would answer “yes” to that?) Â Okay, how about the protestors calling BART spokesman Linton Johnson “Uncle Tom” and a “self-conflicted blackie”? Â (Don’t get pissed at me…it’s in SFGate.com’s article). Â Where’s the public outcry for Mr. Johnson? Â That protest, I would support. Â Mr. Johnson is merely doing his job and he is getting verbally assaulted. Â So, if you aren’t a parolee and you wear a tie, you can no longer be a victim of racism? Â Nice double standard. Â That poor bastard has been on the TV more in the last couple of years than I’m sure he wants. Â Mr. Johnson represents BART professionally and in a dignified manner. Â His job can’t be easy what with all the negative press BART has been getting.
These protestors did nothing to effect BART PD. Â Nothing. Â You know who they did impact? Â Commuters. Â They stopped thousands of people from getting home on time to spend time with their families. Â You want to raise “awareness” for whatever soapbox you want to stand on? Â Write an editorial. Â Hell, start a friggin’ blog. Â But, get the f@#$ out of my way so’s I can get home to my girls.
What exactly do these protestors want? Â BART PD to disband or disarm. Â Ignorance doesn’t begin to cover it. Â BART PD Deputy Chief Dan Hartwig gave a press conference last week about this incident (you can see it here). Â Tasers have been much maligned and ballyhooed over the past couple of years in light of the Mehserle incident. Â Towards the end of the press conference, representatives of the media began to questions Deputy Chief Hartwig about the taser and when it should be deployed. Â Hartwig does a great job of explaining BART’s protocol of using the taser and when it should be deployed. Â He is very clear about “imminent danger” and a “life-threatening” situation that calls for deadly force. Â The taser is a less lethal option. Â When a cop’s life is on the line or he/she is acting to prevent someone else from a possibly deadly situation, that cop is authorized to use deadly force.
It’s gotta be hard to be a BART cop these days. Â The silent masses support them, I am sure. Â But, when you’re constantly faced with negativity and hatred, it takes its toll. Â Spray painted on a column near the BART gates was the phrase, “Pigs kill. Â Kill pigs.” Â How’d you like to be met with that notion strolling into your office gig every day? Â “Accountants kill. Â Kill accountants.”
Oh…and I love how the article ends. Â “Johnson said a citizens review board created by BART after the 2009 fatal shooting of an unarmed passenger, Oscar Grant, by then-BART police Officer Johannes Mehserle was already looking at the recent shooting.” Â I’ve stated before how I feel about review boards.
This is obviously a hot-button issue and I’m sure you’ve got your opinions. Â What do you think?