June 28, 2010

Batten Down The Hatches

The jury in the Johannes Mehserle trial is expected to go to the jury for a verdict this week. It strikes me as unlikely the jury will come down with a guilty verdict, given the doubts that probably exist on intent (it's a murder charge [added 30/6 — the jury's apparently going to be allowed to bring down a lesser charge including manslaughter, which may help]).

There's already been minor rioting and disturbances over time in Oakland on this issue (it's hard not to feel strongly about the way BART and others concerned reacted on this initially); there's almost certain to be rioting in Oakland if the verdict's "not guilty" (and possibly even if the verdict's "guilty"). Never mind that it wasn't the Oakland Police Department or Oakland itself that was the issue here, it'll be Oakland where the riots happen (if they happen). The OPD has issued several bulletins on how it intends to cope, and how we Oaklanders should protect ourselves.

I live a few minutes' walk from Fruitvale BART, the ground zero for the original shooting and for a lot of the subsequent protests. It's hard not to feel a little under siege at times like this.

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