Thursday, December 9, 2010

Pentagon is preparing for economic collapse

In case you were holding your breath waiting for an economic recovery, you might want to take note of the fact that the Pentagon is preparing for economic collapse.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Feds set up teenager involved in Oregon bomb plot

An Somali-born, American teenager was apparently set up by federal law enforcement officials who posed as radical Islamic fighters and lured the young man into a plot he believed would lead him to detonate a car bomb at an Oregon Christmas tree lighting ceremony.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Revolution time

"Nothing will radicalize an American citizen more than getting thrown out of their home by a bank that just paid its CEO a bigger raise this year than the year before. Nothing is gonna radicalize you more than not being able to feed your kids, and knowing that one percent of the country has all the money tied up in it. We’re not poor in this country. This is a very, spectacularly rich country, the richest country that has ever existed in human history. Yet all the wealth is tied up into these huge corporations and this tiny cabal of people."
-Ted Rall

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Founders of Mexico's most violent drug cartel were trained by US

The Zetas have a fearsome reputation, but the real surprise comes not in their ruthless use of violence, but in the origins of where they learned the tricks of their bloody trade.
Some of the cartel's initial members were elite Mexican troops, trained in the early 1990s by America’s 7th Special Forces Group or "snake eaters" at Ft. Bragg, North Carolina.
-Al Jazeera

Monday, October 4, 2010

"Predictive Policing"

Police in LA hope to pick up on criminal behavior patterns in order to "predict" criminal behavior.
Yes, this is the world we live in.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Arnold signs marijuana decriminalization law

This is pretty huge.
Citing the need to reduce spending on prosecution and courts, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed a measure (SB 1449, Leno) that makes marijuana possession an infraction (like traffic and littering tickets) instead of a misdemeanor.
This is actually more important than the passage in next month's election of prop 19, which seeks to increase penalties for "unregulated" use and sales.

Feds Spying From the Skies

Over the past several months, a single-engine, Cessna-type plane apparently registered to an undisclosed federal law enforcement agency has been circling above the epicenter of the national legalization movement: Oakland and Berkeley. A narcotics interdiction expert says the plane's model, low altitude, and habit of loitering over cities for hours and hours is consistent with Drug Enforcement Administration anti-pot operations, wherein the federal agency looks for the tell-tale heat signatures of grow houses and the special green color of outdoor gardens.

The US Supreme Court has ruled thermal imaging a private residence unconstitutional without a search warrant, but the eight-year narcotics veteran Cooper says in his experience, "they're using them anyway to spot suspicious houses. Then they set up and look for another reason to get the warrant. They do not put in the search warrant affidavit that they used the FLIR. They'll put in the search warrant affidavit that they saw cars coming in and out of the place, or their power usage was too high, or they got an undisclosed tip."

Thursday, September 30, 2010

The privatization of libraries

A private company in Maryland has taken over public libraries in ailing cities in California, Oregon, Tennessee and Texas, growing into the country’s fifth-largest library system.

Jobs programs in Oakland do what they can

Here's more on EOYDC:

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Cops Lie

This is a very subtle case, but a good example nonetheless.
I’m not trying to say that police deserve to be shot, but if you hang out with drug dealers and buy or sell drugs on the streets, there does exist the chance that you might get shot.
You may have heard that in late August, another cop was shot in East Oakland.
Andrew Barrientos, who is believed to be a Union City gang member, shot Fremont Officer Todd Young, a member of a multi-agency drug and gang task force, on August 27. Officer Eric Tang, an Oakland police officer who was with Young when he was shot, was neither shot by, nor was he able to shoot or aprehend, the suspect.

Barrientos claims that the cops did not identify themselves. It is a known fact that they were not in uniform.
The official story is that they were “trying to serve an arrest warrant.” However, isn’t it more likely that they were trying to entrap Barrientos by purchasing drugs from him? If so, that wouldn’t make Barrientos innocent, or even a nice guy, but the bottom line is, the police are lying. What are they trying to hide with this lie? I doubt that the public would ultimately care about the difference between an undercover sting operation and two plainclothes officers legitimately serving an arrest warrant, but there are too many things that don’t add up here.

For instance, newspaper reports wove a tale about a “running gun battle” through the streets of Oakland. However, of the shots fired by Barrientos, the majority of the bullets ended up in a car he tried to hijack on Bancroft Ave, NOT on Auseon Ave where he was allegedly served the arrest warrant. In fact, the only published report of a bullet hitting a house occurred on 86th ave, NOT Auseon. This was most likely a bullet that was fired by Barrientos at one of the two cars he tried to hijack on Bancroft Ave. For those of you unfamiliar with the neighborhood, Auseon and 86th are parallel streets. Newspaper reports claim that that Barrientos was served the warrant on Auseon, then he fled up to Bancroft, being fired at and returning fire. However, most of the shell casings were on Bancroft, closer to 86th (where both carjacking attempts occurred). The physical evidence clearly blows holes in the "running gun battle with the cops" story.

Barrientos, who was caught two days later trying to cross the Mexico border, was wanted for pointing a gun at his girlfriend during an argument. Combined with his history as a gang member, he should have obviously been considered armed and dangerous. Is it believable that two plainclothes officers were serving him with an arrest warrant without visible backup? Is it possible that the officers were serving the warrant without their guns drawn? And even if so, how incompetent was Officer Tang that his partner got shot twice by a suspect who was allegedly running away, yet Tang could not shoot a 240 pound man who had just shot his partner twice? Remember, they were allegedly serving a warrant, so the altercation allegedly began at point blank range…after the two officers had allegedly identified themselves as cops. This is a classic case of the incompetence theory, yet something tells me that Officer Tang would not have drawn such an assignment if he weren’t somewhat competent as a police officer.
Eyewitness reports said multiple police cars were immediately on the scene within seconds after the shootout, but since Barrientos got away, it is safe to assume that they were not close enough. The obvious conclusion is that the backup officers were trying to remain hidden, which would be more consistent with an undercover sting operation than two officers serving a warrant. Police spokesmen have been very careful to not refer to the officers as “undercover.”

Interestingly, 70 of Young's fellow Fremont officers showed up at a recent court appearance for Barrientos in their uniforms, obviously to intimidate Barrientos. Maybe Officers Young and Tang should have been wearing theirs the day Young was shot too.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Cops kill man during pot farm raid

Authorities shot and killed someone while raiding a marijuana farm along the Alameda/Santa Clara County border this morning.
The man was in possession of an air rifle that Sherriff's deputies were apparently afraid of. The man was shot from afar, and then again from up close, just to make sure he was dead. You can never take chances when BB guns are involved.

Monday, July 19, 2010

"You just made the list, buddy."

This is totally the I-580 gunman.

Sniper shoots at Cops during traffic stop

A routine police stop in West Oakland erupted in gunfire when someone with a rifle opened fire at the cops from a high-rise building. No one was hit by the gunfire, and the sniper was not caught.

20 minute gun battle erupts on Oakland freeway

So, the cops got into a fierce gun battle with some 45-year old white guy who was armed to the teeth and wearing a flak vest, and eventually subdued the gunmen (by shooting him several times). Even though they had the perpetrator in custody (he is alive and well by all accounts), they still closed a major freeway for an entire weekend day to collect evidence.
Interestingly, after police murdered Oscar Grant at the Fruitvale BART station, they let an entire train full of witnesses leave the station, minus some of their cameras and cell phones.
I wonder why they were more concerned about securing the crime scene and collecting evidence when the victim of an officer-related shooting was white....

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Oakland and BART Cops kill man near Fruitvale station

Three Oakland officers and two BART officers shot and killed a man this morning near the Fruitvale BART station after an alleged confrontation with police. The officers claimed that the man had two knives. The victim was pronounced dead at the scene.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

NLGSF says cops used excessive force during Mehserle verdict protests

NLG Decries Police Tactics, Assaults on Peaceful Protesters

Oakland— Despite claims by Oakland Police (OPD) and city officials that law enforcement used restraint during last Thursday’s protests following the Johannes Mehserle verdict, details emerging paint a very different picture. Police used excessive force against a largely peaceful protest, violently attacking a number of people. Police arrested many demonstrators who had done nothing wrong, and then held them in jail through the night and in some cases through the weekend and beyond.

Among those arrested were NLGSF member, and prominent Oakland attorney, Walter Riley. “Thursday’s law enforcement conduct must be investigated. The police were provocative and seemed determined to instigate violence, which of course, served their police contract negotiations with Oakland at a time when they are facing layoffs of 80 officers,” said Riley. “In the organized rally where protesters, including me, were helping to ensure peaceful protest, the police helped to perpetuate a narrative of violence by allowing a small number of people to vandalize businesses when they could have stopped it.”

Also arrested were Oakland School Board member Jumoke Hinton Hodge, 69-year-old former school principal Susan Harman, journalists and legal observers. Many of the arrestees were seriously injured by the police, including a handful who were taken to the hospital from the scene and at least one individual who was denied medication, causing a potentially life threatening situation to an elderly member of the community.

“Last Thursday a court in Los Angeles sent a disgraceful message about police violence, and that message was reinforced by the conduct of Oakland Police and other law enforcement Thursday evening,” said Carlos Villarreal, NLGSF Executive Director. “OPD and outside agencies brought in as reinforcement used overwhelming force on a largely nonviolent assembly, sweeping up lawyers, legal observers, journalists and community members, and seriously injuring a number of individuals.”

Several years ago the National Lawyers Guild and ACLU obtained a $2 million settlement in a lawsuit over OPD brutality toward demonstrators, and at that time OPD adopted new crowd control policies designed to safeguard freedom of speech in just this sort of volatile situation.

“If OPD had followed its own crowd control policies, the injuries would have been avoided,” explained NLGSF attorney Rachel Lederman. “The aggressive use of police formations, baton beatings and indiscriminate arrests were unnecessary and violated people’s constitutional right to protest. To make things even worse, OPD violated state law by jailing people for long periods of time who had been arrested for very minor offenses.”

The National Lawyers Guild San Francisco Bay Area Chapter (NLGSF) condemns the police abuse by OPD and other law enforcement on the scene and is investigating possible legal action.

The NLGSF is a human rights bar association founded in 1937 with hundreds of members throughout the Bay Area. Find out more at

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Oakland cops refuse to pay into pension, lose 80 jobs

Eighty Oakland police officers lost their jobs Tuesday when the city and the Oakland police union couldn't agree over pension and layoff language that would have saved the jobs and added $7.8 million into the city's cash-starved budget.

4 more cops charged in post-Katrina bridge shootings

Maybe there is some hope for justice from the Federal Government.
Four more New Orleans police officers have been charged in the deadly shootings of two people in Hurricane Katrina's chaotic aftermath and could face the most serious punishment yet — the death penalty — for the killings that have brought down a string of other officers.
Six current or former officers are charged in a 27-count indictment unsealed Tuesday. Five former New Orleans police officers already have pleaded guilty to helping cover up the shootings on the Danziger Bridge that left two men dead and four wounded just days after the August 2005 hurricane. In one instance, a mentally disabled man was shot in the back and stomped before he died.

The indictment claims (former Police Officer Robert) Faulcon shot 40-year-old Ronald Madison, who had severe mental disabilities, in the back as he ran away on the west side of the bridge. (Sgt. Kenneth) Bowen is charged with stomping and kicking Madison while he was lying on the ground, wounded but still alive.
-MICHAEL KUNZELMAN, Associated Press Writer

Friday, July 9, 2010

"Slapped in the face"

Justice was not served yesterday.
Oscar Grant was murdered, and if the BART officers on the Fruitvale station platform with Mehserle that New Year’s morning were black or brown youth instead of cops, they would be charged as accessories top murder. There would be no question of intent or state of mind. There wouldn’t even be any need for videotape. As Oscar Grant’s weeping mother pointed out after the verdict, this verdict was further evidence of the lack of equality in America.
Grant’s uncle, Cephus Johnson, delivered a great speech as well, and made a point of not blaming the jury, even though they clearly did not deliberate long enough (not even a full day). Johnson blamed the “system.” He’s right. The jury was not allowed to hear relevant evidence about Mehserle’s background, even though Judge Robert Perry allowed irrelevant information about the victim’s background to be introduced during the trial. But still, the video evidence, mixed with common sense, should have been sufficient. The witness testimony provided during the trial also proved that Grant was not a threat to any of the officers who needed to be tased, and also that tasing Grant was the exact wrong procedure in that situation anyway.
I remember reading in a parenting book that, allegedly, boys obsess over the rules, irregardless of each others’ feelings, whereas girls obsess over each feelings, irregardless of the rules. Even though I believe in nurturing more than nature, this verdict does support that theory. The jury was two-thirds female, and their decision wreaked of their having taken all parties’ feelings into account (even though the defendant and his families’ feelings shouldn’t matter at all). The jury also had no blacks on it, and their decision also wreaked of racism, classism, and most importantly, ignorance. Johnson was just being diplomatic. The jury screwed this up, even though they probably thought that they were being fair, and some jurors may never understand why.
That is how deep the inequality goes. Far too many Americans don’t even see it.
If the BART train hadn’t stayed at the station and kept its doors open, allowing passengers to videotape Grant’s murder, this would have been another case of “justifiable homicide” by East Bay cops. Just like Gary King, Brownie Polk, Parnell Smith, Jerry Amaro, and Casper Banjo. They might have even called Grant a “suspected rapist” the same way they did to Smith and Lovelle Mixon.

It was comedy to see Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums hiding out in fear at OES HQ all night long. Really? You didn’t have the balls to stay at City Hall, where your office is? You didn’t even need to go out into the plaza, you could’ve stayed hidden in City Hall. You were really afraid of the “calm, respectful, peaceful” protest that you helped organize, even with all the paid snitches in the crowd. That’s not leadership, that’s pussy.

Shortly before riot police began “compressing” the crowd as night fell, news reports said that the Dept. of Justice will review the Grant shooting and prosecution of the Mehserle case. Maybe we can thank Dellums for that. Maybe not. I do know that I am very proud of Oakland. We represented: calmly, articulately, passionately, freely, peacefully, and when pushed, forcefully.

Cephus Johnson said he was “disappointed.” Anyone with a conscience should be. He’ll get his chance to appeal to his “higher moral authority” on August 6 when he and his sister get to file their “Victim’s Impact Statement” during Mehserle’s sentencing.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

"Outside Agitators"

I know I agreed with the whole "outside agitators" theory in my last post, and I wanted to be very clear that I do believe that "outside agitators" stir up crowds during protests, but I also believe that those agitators are cops. feds. undas. whatever.
I also believe there is a lot of anger in Oakland, and that that anger is legitimate.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Oakland waits, or do we?

It’s interesting to drive around Oakland this weekend. Life in East Oakland isn’t very different from other 4th of July weekends. Cops are everywhere. However, I drove through Fruitvale yesterday, and noticed some signs of all the media hype. In response to a letter issued from City Hall, a small handful of businesses have covered their storefronts with plywood. The funny thing is, these businesses also have to put an additional “open” sign on the plywood to distinguish themselves from other boarded up store fronts that are out of business, which are not exactly an unusual sight in Oakland. Other than some plywood, East Oakland and Fruitvale seemed like I thought it would: business as usual.
However, downtown is a much different scene altogether.
Driving in on East 14th, you first see the downtown skyline as a backdrop for a post-apocalyptic scene that used to be the grounds of the Kaiser Auditorium’s parking lot. The parking lot has been torn up, as well as much of the landscaping in between the auditorium and the lake. Huge piles of concrete surround both sides of the street and the median. I’m pretty sure none of it had anything to do with the Mehserle trial, but it certainly seemed appropriate for a town that everyone else thinks/hopes is destined to explode.
Once in downtown, Oakland seems like the place that you read about in the news. Some businesses are already boarded up per the ominous warning from City Hall. Many more were getting boarded up on Saturday morning. The City Center surrounded its entire Broadway entrance with fencing. It looked like they are doing some sort construction project that must have been planned a long time ago, but given the circumstances, you never know. I do know that this is a great time to be a plywood retailer and/or a carpenter.

Trial-related graffiti abounds. It’s mostly wheat-pasted posters. I didn’t see too much spray paint or marker work, although I wasn't on foot, and I don't kick it by the lake. I do know that there is one mural that looks like it was done legally: it's more gallery art than graffiti art. The posters range from being pro-Justice for Oscar Grant to being staunchly anti-Mehserle.
Earlier in the week, someone had used red spray paint to write some propaganda around the Lake Merritt area that went so far as to threaten Mehserle’s son. Not sure whether or not he even has one. I do know that cops often use red spray paint when they want to spread their propaganda though. When you factor in the fact that it was only around the lake, that kinda lets you know what kind of graffiti artist did it: someone who is simultaneously afraid of East Oakland (where Mehserle actually killed Grant) AND wants lakeside residents to be afraid of all of Oakland. Basically, someone who is in the fear industry. There’s a difference between justice and revenge.

Also last week, the “Black political leaders and clergy” issued a letter warning against destroying ‘our’ city. I’ve hated all of the other calls for peace, because I believe that people are entitled to their own grieving process. I do believe in strategic and coordinated action, but I’m not a fascist, and encourage all people to have their own feelings, opinions, and coping strategies. This letter from the “Black political leaders and clergy” did a good job of warning against following the lead of “outside agitators” at least. We all know who really breaks windows and sets trash cans on fire, and I’m glad that someone is calling attention to the provocateurs rather than just fear mongering or pre-emptively justifying police over-reactions.
I'm positive some bullshit shenanigans will go down, even if people are gathering for a victory celebration, but don't believe the hype. Store-front businesses have a right to worry, the black bloc will surely be out in force, but I've seen maintream press coverage that makes the looming verdict seem like a race war might erupt. Maybe tensions are high in Los Angeles, where the trial is being held. They usually are. The Bay Area is different though. We know who the real enemy is. And it ain't the small local businesses on 17th street.
They've been gathering their armies and psyching themselves up for weeks while we've been struggling just to make ends meet. We got numbers though, and we got game.
Thankfully for the local tourist industry, the Mehserle Jury waited til after the holiday weekend to deliver a verdict.
So while the media tells the rest of America that Oakland is about to descend into chaos, real Oaklanders are celebrating another beautiful summer holiday weekend, watching the heavens explode.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Mehserle Trial: Jury deliberations could begin Friday

"He lost all control, and that's why you are here," Stein said of Mehserle. "In this case, the defendant's desire to punish, his desire to mistreat, his desire to belittle Mr. Grant resulted in the death of an innocent person, and for that he must be held liable."
-Alameda County Deputy District Attorney David Stein

On Monday, June 21, Alameda County Deputy District Attorney David Stein concluded his murder case against former BART police officer Johannes Mehserle.

Stein's case against Mehserle lasted seven days and included 26 witnesses and dozens of pieces of evidence. That evidence included six video recordings of the events that preceded and followed Grant's killing, three of which captured Mehserle pulling his gun from his holster, aiming it at Grant's back and pulling the trigger.
-Oakland Tribune

Such video evidence would be enough to convict most people, certainly ANY black man. However, since Mehserle is a cop, he is allowed to argue that he was scared of the people on the train, that he thought that a man lying face down on the ground with another officer's knee on the back of his neck was a physical threat that justified the use of a taser (even though two other officers on the scene that night have already testified that Grant was NOT a threat), and that he mistook his handgun for a taser.
Not only did Defense Attorney Rains accuse the prosecution of not having any evidence, but he himself solely relied on evidence from hired guns, one of whom was a veteran of the Rodney King trial, and attacks on the victim's character.
Rains opened up his defense of Mehserle by calling a San Leandro police officer to the stand who testified about a previous run-in with Grant, where Grant tried to run away during an arrest. Mind you, neither Mehserle nor former BART officer Anthony Pirone knew about this incident the night Grant was killed, so there was no other reason to introduce this evidence other than to attack Grant's character. Grant tried to run away, he didn't pull out a gun.
Rains then pestered Jackie Bryson, one of Oscar Grant's friends who was also on the BART station platform the night Mehserle shot Grant in the back. Rains insinuated that Bryson tried to flee the scene immediately after the shooting, even though he was still in handcuffs and surrounded by Police Officers. The video shows Bryson only standing up and taking a few steps backward with a look of disbelief on his face.

"My friend just got shot. I don't know what I was doing. I was in shock."
--Oakland Tribune

Bryson testified that Grant was NOT resisting arrest like Mehserle claims, but was instead struggling for air as two 250 pound cops had their knees pressing down on his torso. Grant's arm was stuck under his body when he was thrown to the ground by the officers. Videotape shows that Grant was also thrown down on top of another friend's leg too, which was probably pushing up into his diaphram. Bryson contended that Grant was unsuccessfully trying to remove his arm from under his body, and NOT digging in his pocket for a non-existent handgun as Mehserle has claimed.

"Oscar kept telling them, 'I can't breathe, I can't breathe,' " Bryson said.
All of a sudden, Bryson said, Mehserle "goes, '(Expletive) this.' He stands up and he shoots him."
-Oakland Tribune

Bryson also testified about BART Police attempts to intimidate him after the shooting. Even though Bryson was NOT under arrest, he was read his Miranda rights and kept in a cell in handcuffs:

After the shooting, Bryson said, he was taken to BART police headquarters and put in a small cell with his handcuffs still on. Periodically, he said, Pirone would walk by the cell, pull up a chair, put his feet up and smile at Bryson.
"He comes in, he pulls up a chair, and he kicks his feet up, and he's just laughing," Bryson said. "He just kept smiling and laughing with a smirk."
-Oakland Tribune

Pirone, who has been fired due to his aggressive behavior on the BART platform that night, had screamed a racial slur at Grant and assaulted him shortly before Mehserle shot him in the back. Pirone also was the only BART Officer on the scene that fateful night who was smiling in the post-shooting photos taken by BART detectives.
In court, Prosecutor Stein played an audio recording of a BART detective telling Bryson that he was not under arrest, and then immediately reading him his rights.
At the end of that day of testimony, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Robert Perry announced that he would release all six video recordings of the events before, during and after the shooting.

The next day, Rains called Michael Schott to the witness stand as an alleged forensic video expert. Schott was paid "at least" $65,000 by Mehserle's defense team to testify that he believed that Grant and his friends were the aggressors on the BART platform the night Grant was killed.

The first action Rains focused on was a video that, in real time, appeared to show Pirone walking toward Grant and then punching or elbowing him in the head.
Schott said his analysis does not show Pirone doing anything of the sort and instead shows Grant punching Pirone, even though the former officer never testified that Grant had hit him.
-Oakland Tribune

Can you believe this idiocy? The Defense team paid Schott $65,000 to LIE under oath that Grant was actually the one who punched Pirone, even though the video clearly shows otherwise, and Pirone never accused Grant of striking him. In fact, one of the last defense witnesses, Dr. Thomas Rogers, a 31-year forensic pathologist and a physician of 40 years who authored the autopsy report on Grant, testified that the victim had been struck very hard on the head (which would be consistent with the videotape footage).

The doctor also noted that Grant had evidence of hemorrhage in the central nervous system. Rogers stated that, once he was able to look underneath Grant’s skin, that there was evidence of blunt force trauma to the left side of Grant’s head, just above his ear.

Yet I'm sure Schott still got his $65,000 for testifying, under oath, that his "frame-by-frame anaylsis" of the video proved that Grant hit Pirone rather than Pirone hitting Grant.

The next day, Rains called Mehserle himself to the stand. Mehserle proceeded to give a well-rehearsed performance that included a description of his taser training, his distancing himself from Pirone's "agressive style," his admission that he was pointing a taser at Grant and his friends just minutes before he fatally shot Grant in the back, and an emotional meltdown.
About his taser training, Mehserle claimed that he never thought about the potential danger of mistaking his pistol for his taser:

"To me it wasn't that big of a deal," he said.
-Oakland Tribune

About Pirone's conduct on the platform the night Grant was killed, Mehserle put the blame squarely on the more aggressive officer's shoulders:

"They were yelling, you know, '(Expletive) that officer. I'm going to sue him,' " Mehserle said. "I said, 'Are you talking about me?' and they said, 'No, that guy.' I told them, 'I don't know what is going on. Settle down, and we'll figure it out.' "
Mehserle said he had his Taser pointed at the group while he talked with them and thought that he was able to calm them down.
"But that all changed when Pirone came back," Mehserle said.
-Oakland Tribune

Mehserle here is referring to the moment when Pirone started screaming a racial slur at Grant and then punched or elbowed him in the head before the two officers threw Grant to the ground and killed him.
Mehserle also maintains that he "doesn't remember" unholstering his gun (which is not an easy thing to do for obvious reasons) or pulling the trigger. However, Mehserle made it very clear that his defense is that at the time, he assumed that Grant had a gun and was trying to pull it out of his pocket. He doesn't remember much else, but he was adamant about remembering that.

“I thought that I didn’t want to get shot.”
-SF Bay View

When he finally got to the part where, somehow, his sig sauer mysteriously appeared in his hands, he started crying, which caused Wanda Johnson, Grant's mother, to leave the courtroom.
Another member of the gallery, Timothy Killings, also got up and walked out, saying, "You should save those fucking tears dude." Killings, even though he was leaving the courtroom of his own volition, was immediately arrested.
Mehserle immediately stopped crying during the commotion.
Stein's cross-examination of Mehserle was brutal. Not fooled by the waterworks, Stein pointed out that the former officer did not follow protocol on several ocasions leading up to Grant's killing, including the fact that Mehserle's use of a taser would have been unjustified:

Comparing the circumstances Mehserle faced just before the shooting to tactics taught to police officers about such incidents, Stein had Mehserle admit that many of the actions he took early Jan. 1, 2009, did not follow proper protocol.
Stein said Mehserle's movements just before the shooting were not consistent with the movements an officer should make after deciding to use a Taser on a suspect who is lying on the ground.
Mehserle admitted he never yelled "gun" when he thought Grant was reaching for one as officers are taught to do if they see a weapon. Mehserle said he did not yell "gun" because he never saw one.
Stein also pointed out that Mehserle admitted he did not notice that Grant was being pinned down by then-BART police officer Anthony Pirone even though officers are taught always to be aware of their surroundings.
"The only thing that went through my head was that I had to hurry up and tase," Mehserle said.
Stein ended his questioning of Mehserle by asking the former officer why he had not told anyone — during his 10 minutes on Oakland's Fruitvale BART station platform after the shooting or a friend who stayed with him for a week after the killing — that he had made a mistake.
Mehserle said he could not remember talking to anyone on the platform after the killing even though a security camera shows him talking with several people.
-Oakland Tribune

Stein destroyed Mehserle's defense that he was justified in using a taser because he thought Grant had a gun:

The prosecutor asked, “When you watched the video, did you hear yourself say, I’m going to tase him?” Mehserle replied, “No.”
The prosecutor continued, “Why did you fire (what you thought was a taser) when Officer Pirone was in such close proximity (because the tase would shock anyone touching the victim)?” Mehserle answered, “I knew I had to act very fast with the taser.” The prosecutor fired back, “Because you were going against a gun?”
“Yes,” said Mehserle. Then the prosecutor asked him what effect does being tased have on the body. He answered that tasing makes the body tighten up. Stein then unloaded his legal nuclear bomb on Mehserle when he asked him, “Why would you want a hand holding a gun to constrict?” Mehserle answered, “I wasn’t thinking about that.”
-SF Bay View

Stein then went on to get the defendant to admit that he never called for medical assistance, despite Mehserle's contention that it was an accidental shooting. Mehserle also admitted that he never told any other officer on the platform that he had intended to tase Grant, even though Pirone had lied about this previously.
Stein also pointed out that Mehserle was living with members of the defense team, and that he had rehearsed all of his theatrics through roll playing with the defense team. Mehserle admitted to preparing for the case "for more than an hour."
During his final arguments at the end of the trial, Stein destroyed the "I thought he had a gun" theory:

Stein asked the jury to think about why Mehserle never told fellow officers after the shooting that it was an accident. He also asked the jury to consider why Mehserle would stand up and release his hold of Grant if he truly believed Grant was reaching for a gun.
"The last thing you want to do is to create distance. You want to be on that person like white on rice," Stein said. "You are going to be on that person to make sure that gun is not coming out."
-Oakland Tribune

That is, unless you're pissed off at someone and you also feel entitled to shooting a black man in the back because, hell, Oakland Police Department Sergeant Pat Gonzales got away with it when he murdered Gary King, Jr. in 2007.

The next day, Rains called another hired gun to the witness stand. Greg Meyer, a retired LAPD Captain who has made a lucrative career for himself testifying in over 100 criminal and civil cases on police use-of-force issues, including the infamous Rodney King trial, where he determined that the LAPD officers who savagely beat King had NOT used "excessive force." The defense team paid Meyer $375 an hour plus $3,000 a day for his appearances in court. Meyer testified that he spent 80-90 hours on the case reviewing hundreds of pages of documents, interviewing Mehserle, and watching videos from the night Grant was killed, and came to the conclusion that the defendant did have the right to use his taser on Grant.
However, like Schott before him, his testimony was picked apart during cross-examination by Stein. He was even made to admit that the BART officers on the scene did not initially have a reason to arrest Grant.

Stein's cross-examination of Meyer also revealed that the expert reached his opinions on the case in March 2009 before a preliminary hearing was conducted and before BART conducted its own internal investigation into the shooting.
Meyer admitted that he had not reviewed all the evidence in the case, even though his website states, "I've learned to not form opinions before reviewing all the evidence."
Stein also informed the jury that Meyer had worked on behalf of one of the Los Angeles police officers who beat Rodney King.
-Oakland Tribune

Stein also pointed out that Meyer's conclusion was based on his accepting as fact that Grant was resisting arrest and digging for something in his pocket.

Stein asked if Meyer's opinion would change if he knew that Grant was pushed on top of someone's legs, had 500 pounds of force against his back and was yelling out that he could not breathe.
All three facts have been presented as evidence in the case, but Meyer said they did not change his opinion. Meyer said he rejected the prosecution's belief that Grant was not resisting arrest but rather had his arm trapped beneath him.
"I rejected it. It doesn't wash," Meyer said. "It doesn't matter to me. The evidence, in my view, was that he was intentionally keeping his arm under his body."
-Oakland Tribune

I guess it's too much to ask that a professional liar being paid over $3,000 for his services would act as if he were a credible witness.
The Defense wrapped up its case by calling coroner Dr. Thomas Rogers and 3 other BART officers who were on the Fruitvale BART station platform the night Mehserle killed Grant, as well as another officer.

When the coroner testified about the details of Grant's death, Grant's mother, Wanda Johnson, fell ill and had to leave the courthouse in an ambulance. She was complaining of arm and neck pain.

Later on in the day, Stein had an expert witness testify that Mehserle’s fully-loaded pistol weighed 780 grams more than his taser. The taser also happens to be yellow, not black like his gun, and was holstered on the left side of his body as opposed to the right side, where his gun was holstered. In addition, Mehserle had to holster his taser shortly before unholstering his gun.

Stein asked three different BART officers who were on the platform the night Mehserle killed Grant, whether or not Mehserle ever said that he had made a mistake, and all three said no.

Stein also asked Mehserle's friend and fellow Officer Terry Foreman if Mehserle ever spoke about the shooting with him in the days that followed the shooting.
Foreman, who was called by Mehserle for support after the shooting and who drove Mehserle home and days later to his attorney's office in Sacramento, said Mehserle never mentioned that the shooting was an accident.
-Oakland Tribune

During the trial proceedings in Los Angeles, 3 black journalists were banned from the courtroom: JR Valrey of the SF Bay View newspaper (for allegedly threatening to shoot witnesses, but he was later allowed to attend subsequent proceedings), Anyi Howell of Youth Radio (for charging his cell phone), and the Editor of the LA Sentinel (for being from the largest black newspaper in LA).

The political climate that allowed six out of the seven Black males under 40 to be banned from the courtroom is consistent with the track record of this case: The trial was moved out of Alameda County because of defense claims that Blacks in the area could not be unbiased, and no Black people were picked to sit on the Los Angeles jury.
-SF Bay View

Judge Robert Perry, who was involved with the infamous Rampart CRASH Unit scandal, has allowed the jury to consider charges of Murder 2, Manslaughter, and Involuntary Manslaughter. The jury may begin deliberating as soon as today.

Also see:
Marysol Domenici
Anthony Pirone

Friday, June 18, 2010

2nd Former BART Cop Testifies that Grant was Under Police Control

For the second day in a row, a former BART Cop has testified that Oscar Grant was NOT a physical threat to any officers when he was shot in the back while lying face down with an officer's knee on the back of his neck.

At the moment Mehserle stood up and fired, Stein asked, "You felt you had control of Mr. Grant?"

"Yes," (Former BART Cop Anthony) Pirone said.
-SF Chronicle

Pirone testified that he didn't feel physically threatened, even though he had punched Grant in the face just a few minutes earlier. When Mehserle asked him to get up off of Grant before the shooting, he wasn't quite sure what the defendant was up to:

Pirone said he thought, "Why am I getting up? I don't understand. Why he is telling me that?"
-Oakland Tribune

Pirone, who has been fired from his job, admitted to yelling a racial epithet at Grant shortly before the murder. He said it was "sarcasm."

The fired former BART Cop also admitted that he has watched endless amounts of video footage in preparation for his testimony, almost insinuating that his handlers are asking him to lie:

Pirone admitted that he has a hard time separating what is in his memory and what he has seen on the various video recordings of the shooting of the 22-year-old Hayward man and the events that led to it.

"It's like trying to unscramble an egg," Pirone said.
-Oakland Tribune

Why would he need to separate or "unscramble" anything if it was all the truth?

Former BART Officer Contradicts Previous Testimony

Former BART Cop Marysol Domenici, one of the first officers to arrive on the scene at the Fruitvale BART station where Oscar Grant was shot in the back while lying face down on the ground with another BART Cop's knee on the back of his neck, took the stand yesterday in Los Angeles. Domenici proceeded to discredit herself by giving statements that contradicted her previous testimony as well as the videotape evidence from that New Year's Morning in 2009.
In previous court testimony given in Alameda County, Domenici depicted a 'chaotic' scene where 50 people "confronted" her on the platform in a threatening manner as soon as she arrived on the scene. She repeated similar testimony yesterday in Los Angeles:

"I saw people on the train and people on the platform," she said.

"I remember people on the train calling me lady cop, and they were singing the lady cop song as I ran by."

Stein then showed a videotape recorded by a platform security camera that showed Domenici running down an empty platform with no passengers exiting the train.

Asked about the 50 people she saw, Domenici said they could not be seen on the video.

Throughout his questioning, as Stein showed videos from different angles, he repeatedly asked Domenici to point out the 50 people she had just described as being on the platform threatening her.

She never could, and at one point she said, "When I said the platform, to me the train is an extension of the platform."
-Oakland Tribune

During pre-trial proceedings in Alameda County, her depiction of a dangerous, threatening, and chaotic situation was also discredited by video footage, so it's a little odd that she would repeat the same lies under oath again. In general, she did portay herself as a witness with serious credibility issues:

Each time she was questioned, Domenici gave rambling answers justifying her reactions, sparking several requests by Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Robert Perry for her to limit her answers to the question asked.

"Listen carefully to his questions," Perry said at one point.

"Try to focus on the questions that are asked," the judge said later.
-Oakland Tribune

Worse still she completely blew up a defense contention that Grant had touched her on the forearm:

Domenici said she does not remember that Grant ever touched her but said she was told by her attorney that a video shows he did.

When shown the video, Domenici said she could not clearly see Grant touching her.

"I don't remember Grant grabbing my arm," she said.
-Oakland Tribune

Mehserle's attorneys have attempted to justify Grant's murder by painting a picture of a near-riot taking place around the BART Officers as they arrested Grant and several other young men. The defense contends that the chaotic scene confused Officer Mehserle, who mistakenly drew his pistol instead of his taser. However, videotape footage, as well as Domenici's testimony prove otherwise:

"My first reaction was to look at the officers' faces because I didn't know who got shot," she said. "I just heard people saying, 'He got shot; he got shot.'"

Asked if that prompted her to take out her gun for safety, Domenici said it did not.

"Nobody had their guns out, none of the other officers," she said.

-Oakland Tribune

Clearly, none of the officers on the scene felt physically threatened enough to unholster their firearms. One officer, Anthony Pirone, who was fired along with Domenici, even punched Grant in the head minutes before Mehserle killed him. Yet the passengers on the train stayed on the train, and did not in any way appear to pose a physical threat to any of the officers. Even Grant himself, who was face-down on the platform, with Pirone's knee on the back of his neck, did not pose ANY physical threat.

So the real question is, did Mehserle murder Grant because of something Grant said, or is Mehserle really so incompetent that he forgot A) that it was New Year's (and therefore he should have known that he was getting paid overtime to deal with drunken revelers), and B) the difference between a taser and a handgun?
Incompetence like that is unacceptable, and should carry the same weight as a murder charge, especially in light of the fact that Mehserle was paid a lot of money to know the difference, and especially in light of the fact that Grant used his sister's cell phone to take a picture of Mehserle pointing a taser at him (which proves that he knew the difference between the two weapons) minutes prior to his getting assaulted/getting murdered.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Johannes Mehserle Trial Jury Set

There are NO blacks on the jury.

Mehserle's attorneys will try to prove that Oscar Grant deserved to be shot in the back while unarmed, handcuffed face down on the ground, and in police-custody, by pointing to his criminal record, which includes a previous charge of resisting arrest.
They so far have succeeded on two separate occasions in their attempts to keep blacks, whom they have accused of not being able to be impartial, off of the jury.

Mehserle 2
Justice 0

Here are some other interesting tidbits from the first week of the trial.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Earth's Day

It happened two days before the 40th Anniversary of Earth Day, but it was centuries in the making. An oil rig floating a mile over its well went BOOM! and Mother Earth has been bleeding badly ever since.
An oil spill bigger than Massachusetts, Connecticut, AND Rhode Island combined continues unabated in the Gulf of Mexico.
Oil kills, in case you didn't know, and a whole lot of it has been leaked into one of the more ecologically siginifcant areas on the globe. This is some major MAJOR shit. To quote Mike Ruppert, it's "Cataclysmic." The Earth has had a fever for some time, now it is fighting back against the disease of human greed. It ain't just BP. It ain't just Halliburton. It ain't about Bush/Cheney or Obama. The whole damn system of easy living is guilty.
Mama, I'm rockin your jersey and I'm cheering from the stands. Do what you gotta do.

I can hear my mother call
Late at night I hear her call
Oh lord, lord I hear her call
She said, "Father, father it's for the kids
Each and every thing I did.
Please, please don't judge me too strong.
Lord knows I meant no wrong.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

OPD Thugs Embarass The Badge

A boxing match for law enforcement officers turned chaotic when supporters of an Oakland Police Department fighter escalated trash-talking into what turned into a shouting and shoving match that involved dozens of spectators.

"It was totally instigated by Oakland PD, no doubt in my mind," said Fosum, who was in the ring Friday night. "They chose to be jerks instead of law enforcement. This was not an embarrassment to Badge versus Badge. This was not an embarrassment to law enforcement. This was an embarrassment to Oakland PD."
-Oakland Tribune

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Oakland police, violence-prevention programs brace for cuts

"We are preparing for the worst-case scenario."
Officer Holly Joshi,
OPD Spokeswoman

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Mike Ruppert Webstream

Excellent takes on current events:

Thursday, May 6, 2010

New Scraper Bike King Video

Even though I ride the anti-scraper bike, this is an excellent video, and I couldn't be more proud of T. He got a good head on his shoulders. Please check this out.

Scrapertown from California is a place. on Vimeo.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The heat is on the streets

Be careful out there...

Dozens of police officers conducting raids in Alameda County
Operation Clean Sweep aims to find crime suspects; parolees
Oakland Tribune
Posted: 04/27/2010 07:51:50 AM PDT
Updated: 04/27/2010 09:55:38 AM PDT

OAKLAND — Oakland police and more than 100 officers from Bay Area law enforcement agencies are conducting raids in cities throughout Alameda County this morning.

In the search, dubbed "Clean Sweep," state parole officers have teamed up with local police agencies to track down for suspects in violation of their parole or wanted for other crimes.

About 26 agencies are involved.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

About those missiles Russia sold to Iran…

It's official, Russia has sold its S-300 long-range surface-to-air missile defense system to Iran. The S-300, which Iran has been trying to buy since 2005, is considered to be one of the best SAM systems in the world, can hit a target at 100 miles, and will be delivered to Iran within months.
The sale is viewed as a massive blow to Israeli defense chiefs, who already fear Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is building up a nuclear capability to attack them.
Tensions couldn’t be higher in the region.
On April 14, Jordan’s King Abdullah II told members of the US Congress that a war between Israel and Hezbollah in Lebanon is “imminent.” The next day, King Abdullah told the Chicago Tribune that, although most in the Middle East wanted peace, there was a “very good chance” that war could break out in the region in the coming months.

“If we hit the summer and there’s no active process, there’s a very good chance for conflict – and nobody wins when it comes to that.”

Considering that Iran, a potentially nuclear state, has been the main supporter of Hezbollah, and considering that in a nuclear conflict, it's all or nothing, there will be no winners indeed. It is true that Israel and Hezbollah have squared off without resorting to nukes in the recent past, but current events in the region are still quite unsettling.

Israel’s government has not helped ease tensions. They object to the US establishing diplomatic relations with Syria, even though this could result in further isolating Iran, and they object to any notion that the Palestinians are entitled to their own state. While President Obama has called Arab-Israeli strife “harmful” to US interests, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu has compared the international community’s handling of a potential nuclear program in Iran to Europe’s failure to stop the Nazi war machine prior to World War II.

“Israel's hardline government is deeply worried that the U.S. will try to impose a Mideast peace deal, that the Palestinians might declare statehood unilaterally and that Washington could be moving to end tensions with Syria. These fears underscore how the current differences between the U.S. and Israel go far beyond a still unresolved diplomatic row over Israeli settlement building. Instead, there is a deepening chasm between the visions of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Barack Obama, raising questions about the strength of the U.S.-Israeli alliance despite mutual pronouncements that the bond is unshakable.”
-CBS News

Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad has indeed floated the idea of unilaterally declaring statehood as early as next year, and his proposal led Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman to threaten to annul past peace agreements and even annex parts of the West Bank. But disagreements in the Holy Land are not anything new.

Contrary to what the hawks in Israel are saying, there are also hawks in Washington. In response to Mr. Ahmadinejad taunting the US with a display of Iran’s already strong missile arsenal during its annual Army Day Parade, Joint Chiefs Chairman Admiral Mike Mullen let it be known that the Pentagon is already considering its options of last resort:

The Pentagon was ratcheting up pressure for military action against Iran last night as America’s top uniformed official said for the first time that a strike on nuclear targets would “go a long way” towards delaying Tehran’s uranium enrichment programme.
-The Times Online

Obama had already made it clear earlier this month that a nuclear attack on either North Korea or Iran would remain a policy option for his administration.
And it just so happens that Iran is holding war games exercises this week in the Gulf and Straight of Hormuz, a waterway crucial to world oil supplies. As if that weren't enough to heighten tensions, on April 20, Iran's Supreme Leader, the Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, responded to the tough talk out of Washington by demanding that the international community not let Obama get away with nuclear threats.

"We will not allow America to renew its hellish dominance over Iran by using such threats."

In response, the next day, the Pentagon reiterated its hardline stance:

“We are not taking any options off the table as we pursue the pressure and engagement tracks,” Pentagon Press Secretary Geoff Morrell said. “The president always has at his disposal a full array of options, including use of the military... It is clearly not our preferred course of action but it has never been, nor is it now, off the table.”
-The Jerusalem Post

Meanwhile, focusing on the more moderate voices in Washington, Israeli hardliners were concerned that the US would tolerate a nuclear-armed Iran, and debated the prospect of launching their own, unilateral military strike:

"The Israeli security establishment is divided over whether it needs Washington's blessing if Israel decides to attack Iran, Israeli officials say, as the U.S. campaign for sanctions drags on and Tehran steadily develops greater nuclear capability."
-The Wall Street Journal

Needless to say, we're following these developments closely.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

More on US/Russia tensions

On April 4, CNN reported explosions in Russia's North Caucasus:
An explosion that derailed a train in Russia's North Caucasus was being investigated as an act of terrorism, Russian media reported.

Then on April 7, The Kyrgyzstan government was overthrown:
Kyrgyz opposition leader Roza Otunbayeva said on Thursday she had taken over the government after violent protests forced the president of the Central Asian country to flee the capital.

Here is a video that makes it very clear what is happening in that country:
"The government is firing on it's own people."

Kyrgyzstan is home to a US airbase that is very very important to its Afghan operations. I wonder if the Kyrgyz opposition forces support that base...

No sooner had presidents Barack Obama and Dmitry Medvedev signed an arms reduction pact in Prague as part of an effort to "reset" strained relations than a senior official in Medvedev's delegation urged Kyrgyzstan's new rulers to shut the base.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Speaking of war...

On March 28, Radio Free Europe reported that Russia was accusing the of U.S. aiding the Afghan Drug Trade.

The next day, on March 29, an alleged suicide bomber attacked the Moscow Metro during Monday morning rush hour, killing 38 and injuring at least 60.

Later on that week, Russia announced that it had signed arms deals with Bolivia, Venezuela, and China, and that it was finalizing a missile deal with Iran.

Setting up shop in America's backyard:
Russia has said that it will help Venezuela to set up its own space industry and develop nuclear energy, the Latin American country’s President announced yesterday. The two have also signed a new contract to exploit Venezuelan oil and are discussing a raft of further military and energy deals.

The deal will allow Moscow to entrench its foothold in Latin America through a deepening alliance with America’s main regional foe. As the Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin visited Caracas, Venezuela’s vocal, anti-imperialist leader, President Chávez, said that the allies were building “a new, multipolar world”.

Selling missile defense systems to China and Iran:
China is a major buyer of Russian weapons, and the two countries say they are trying to forge a strategic partnership, though senior Russian officials are privately concerned about an increasingly assertive China.

I'm sure none of these news stories are related though, since no news networks are telling us they are connected.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Civil War?

‘Patriot’ hate groups grew by 244% in 2009
It shouldn't be news to anyone that the Radical Right has been shitting themselves ever since a black man was elected president. Well, they've been organizing.
An "astonishing" 363 anti-government or "Patriot" groups appeared in 2009, with the totals going from 149 groups to 512, according to a report released by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
-Raw Story

And now the government is responding. The Feds recently carried out raids in three different states.
"They took over the block like it was the Army. I thought we were being invaded," said Michael Morin, who lives two lots away.
-Washington Post

The raids were conducted against a group called the "Hutaree," who planned to incite an armed struggle against the government by killing police officers:
The group's alleged plot appears to have required killing a cop at a traffic stop, or after a faked 911 call. Then, the group planned to attack the funeral of that officer — in order to wreak further havoc by killing even more government and law-enforcement officials who would have gathered to mourn.

And then last week, an internet post from an alleged Marine Sergeant warned anti-government groups against taking up armed struggle:
… There are no second chances, no time for regrets, and no do-overs. This is not Call of Duty.
Now I ‘d like to disperse a myth here – many of you think that US military would not fight civilians. I can’t speak for all, but in my case – the moment you declare civil war, you’re no longer civilians. The moment you attack the constitution, you’re now enemies of that constitution. And I swore to defend and support and if necessary give my life for that Constitution and utilize every tool, technique, and weapon at my disposal to do so. And trust me, I’m not alone.
-An article I wish I would never have to write

Fortunately, not everyone has lost their mind. Here's an interesting response to the above post:
The US Marine’s letter, whether real or not, serves as a warning that the military option will be readily used against American citizens. The Marine is correct that Americans cannot win in a Civil War. But the American people can employ other options.

We already have a pattern for real, peaceful change. That pattern can be found in the words and actions of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Mahatma Gandhi. The power structure is prepared for Civil War and they will win easily. But they will have a harder time fighting the ‘Soul Force’ of the people.

I'd say that things are getting interesting...

Friday, March 26, 2010

Legalize it

The marijuana industry is divided on California's 2010 Cannabis Act.
Upstart weed clubs are pandering to mainstream voters by focusing on taxation issues, which benefit well-financed clinics, while simultaneously caving to pro-law enforcement groups by writing in stiff penalties for kids in the ghetto.

This at a time when politicians in Sacramento are considering opening the doors of the state's jails and prisons to relieve over-crowding.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

The Feds put them up to it

Defense attorneys say an alleged plot to bomb New York synagogues was hatched and directed by a federal informant.

Lawyers for four men from Newburgh have filed a motion to dismiss the terror indictment against them.

They said the informant badgered the defendants until they got involved in the plot.

They said the informant chose the targets, supplied fake bombs for the synagogues and a fake missile to shoot down planes. The motion said he also offered to pay the defendants, who attorneys alleged weren't inclined toward any crime until the informant began recruiting them.
-NBC New York

Monday, March 15, 2010

CIA tested LSD in NYC subway

"Over a two-day period, some 250 residents sought hospital care after hallucinating for no apparent reason. Thirty-two patients were hauled off to mental asylums. Four died."
-NY Post

Friday, March 12, 2010

CIA spiked french bread with LSD as part of mind control experiment

"On August 16, 1951, the inhabitants were suddenly racked with frightful hallucinations of terrifying beasts and fire."

"One man tried to drown himself, screaming that his belly was being eaten by snakes. An 11-year-old tried to strangle his grandmother. Another man shouted: "I am a plane", before jumping out of a second-floor window, breaking his legs. He then got up and carried on for 50 yards. Another saw his heart escaping through his feet and begged a doctor to put it back. Many were taken to the local asylum in strait jackets."
-The Telegraph

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Filipino dies mysterious death on US base

The autopsy report indicates puncture wounds on Gregan’s right foot, on the left inner part of the leg and on the upper right arm.

Indayla, however, said that the autopsy did not indicate many other things, including Gregan’s enlarged scrotum, the enlarged opening of his anus and injuries on his head.

“They [US soldiers] made him a pet,” Grace said. “They probably played with him.”

Sunday, February 28, 2010

OPD Stonewalled Investigation into 2000 Murder of Jerry Amaro

Oakland police concocted false and "ridiculous" stories in an apparent cover-up of the police beating of East Oakland resident Jerry Amaro, who died less than a month after his 2000 arrest, a federal judge has ruled.
Amaro died in April 2000 of pneumonia, which was caused by broken ribs and a punctured lung suffered when he was kicked by Oakland Police Officers while under their custody. Amaro, a father of two, was in police custody because undercover police officers tried to sell him drugs.
The FBI had opened up an investigation into the matter because there was sufficient evidence that OPD had attempted to cover up the beating.

"I do not believe all Police are bad, but the ones that are create havoc in the community."
-Anita Wills

Friday, February 26, 2010

Guilty plea details conspiracy against Katrina hurricane victims

New Orleans Police Lt. Michael Lohman admitted that he was involved in a major conspiracy to justify shooting six unarmed people who were looking for food on a bridge (not in a store mind you) in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

While television cameras and news broadcasters followed police stories about armed thugs roaming the city, it was found later, like the story unfolding today, that many people who were discovered wandering the streets were there to look for the things they needed to survive. It was a time, described by some of the storm's victims, of chaos and great tragedy. Will today's story begin to undo what one writer declares was exaggeration of the news in order to sell stories in a time when the real truth wasn't known?
-Digital Journal

Racism in Oakland Parking Tickets

Oakland parking officers were ordered to avoid enforcing neighborhood parking violations in two of the city's wealthier neighborhoods but told to continue enforcing the same violations in the rest of the city.
In essence, the cash-strapped city sought to generate revenue off of poor people instead of rich people.

"It's not fair," said Shirnell Smith, 44, a parking officer for 22 years who has lived in Oakland for 24 years. Smith and the union representing parking officers said the policy has resulted in tickets being issued disproportionately to poor, black and Latino people.

See video here

Friday, February 5, 2010

Thursday, January 28, 2010

BART doles out $1.5 million to family of Oscar Grant

BART is paying out a $1.5 million settlement to Oscar Grant's baby mama, who had filed a $50 million lawsuit filed against the transit agency after Grant was fatally shot in the back by former BART Officer Johannes Mehserle while he was handcuffed and in police custody on New Year's Day 2009.

"No matter what anyone's opinion of the case may be, the sad fact remains: this incident has left Tatiana without a father."
-BART board President James Fang

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

US Crusaders Using Jesus Rifles

Secret 'Jesus' Messages on U.S. Military Weapons

"It allows the Mujahedeen, the Taliban, al Qaeda and the insurrectionists and jihadists to claim they're being shot by Jesus rifles."
-Mikey Weinstein, Military Religious Freedom Foundation

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Killer cop gets away with murder

"This was a case of shoot first and ask questions later."

A federal judge dismissed a lawsuit filed after Oakland police shot and killed 20-year-old Andrew Wahnee Moppin-Buckskin on New Year's Eve in 2007.
Officer Hector Jimenez's fatal shooting of Moppin-Buckskin was 'justifiable' according to U.S. District Court Judge Claudia Wilken.
Jimenez was fired by the department in 2009 for the July 25, 2008 fatal shooting of Mack "Jody" Woodfox.

"A department investigation determined that Officer Jimenez acted within our policy."
-Assistant Chief Howard Jordan