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The Reaction to the Mehserle Verdict

Sunday July 11, 2010 - 02:21:00 PM

The big news last week was the relatively restrained reaction to an L.A. jury’s verdict that Johannes Mehserle was guilty of involuntary manslaughter in the shooting of Oscar Grant. Last week’s Planet covered it in depth, on the theory that the Berkeley Bubble is not an island unto itself. We hope to cover, as well as we’re able, significant stories like this one which affect the whole urban East Bay, both Berkeley and beyond. Oscar Grant was a Hayward resident, and the policeman who shot him worked for BART, a regional agency which includes Berkeley in its coverage—it just happened that the initial outraged reaction to the shooting manifested itself in Oakland, many of whose citizens, like Oscar Grant, are African-Americans. Many Berkeleyans and people from all over the Bay Area took part in last week’s demonstrations—among those few who were arrested for intemperate behavior, 75% were from outside Oakland, some perhaps even from Berkeley. 

For full details, see last week’s issue.