Statement from the Detroit Coalition Against Police Brutality:
Detroit Coalition Against Police Brutality Releases Statement Today About the Involuntary Manslaughter Conviction of Oakland Police Officer Johannes Mehserle:
Yesterday’s jury decision that convicted Johannes Mehserle, the Oakland, California police officer who killed unarmed civilian Oscar Grant last year, of merely “involuntary manslaughter” was shocking and disturbing. These kinds of decisions—the ones that let police officers who commit baseless and senseless crimes against citizens go with a mere slap on the hand, or no punishment at all, are the reason that citizens across the nation are pushing back and letting local, state and national governments know that they will no longer stand for a double standard of justice: one for police and one for everyone else.
The Detroit Coalition Against Police Brutality seeks to unify with those who agree that this kind of officially-sanctioned and often winked-at wanton police violence is a growing trend that must be addressed.
We are deeply troubled by this obviously flawed jury decision. It is hard to fathom that a jury would not be quick to send the message that police cannot get a pass on killing citizens in such an open and obvious case.
Unfortunately, this verdict, and the tendency of police to get away with brutal and violent acts, is consistent with what we have been seeing here in Detroit as well as nationwide. But just as consistent is the assertive, strong responses of citizens who are letting Detroit and the nation know that they will no longer stand for this.
The Coalition will continue to pursue justice for victims like Imam Luqman and Aiyana Stanley Jones locally, and will stand in solidarity with those who oppose police brutality around the nation. We look forward to the day that the family of Oscar Grant receives justice, and we trust that the U.S. Justice Department will conduct a thorough and honest investigation.