Johannes Mehserle, the BART cop who shot Oscar Grant in the back on New Year’s Day 2009 on the Fruitvale BART station platform in Oakland, headed into his first day of pre-trial hearings in Los Angeles today. And over a hundred protesters, including Oscar Grant’s mother, were there to greet Mehserle outside the court house. According to reporting by the LA Times:
"The nature of this crime has an implied racial aspect to it in that the defendant is Caucasian and the victim was African American," Judge Morris Jacobson wrote in his ruling. "This case may well be a close one and difficult for some or all of the jurors to decide. "Under these circumstances, there is a reasonable probability that (Mehserle) cannot get a fair trial."
Because he’s white and the man he shot was Black, Mehserle might not get a fair trial? What? News flash, Judge Jacobson, it’s always about race, all the time. I’ll accept that theory only if the same sensitivity and wary caution is afforded every Black defendant in the criminal system from now on. I mean really. Why don’t people just come out and say the trial was moved because officials are afraid the case is so cut and dry that Mehserle is going to get exactly the justice he deserves. Mehserle faces murder charges and has pled not guilty, contending that he pulled his gun when he meant to use his taser.