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Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Press refuses again to check and report the facts, this time in BART shooting

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The crescent memorial to Flight 93 would have been stopped long ago if the media was willing to check and report simple facts like the Mecca-orientation of the giant crescent. The same thing happens whenever the facts of a case are not congenial to our left-wing elites.

Another extreme example is now taking place in Oakland California, where inflammatory reports of police criminality in the New Year's Day shooting of Oscar Grant are held up by the Oakland street mob as justication for last week's murder of four police officers. Even after this massacre of Oakland police, the press still refuses to publish dramatic exculpatory evidence in the Oscar Grant case.

Video proof that Oscar Grant swung his own arm up onto his own back AFTER he was shot by BART officer Johannes Mehserle

Oscar Grant was lying face down on the ground when he was shot in the back by BART officer Johannes Mehserle, who seems to have thought he was firing his newly issued Taser. (Fellow officer Tony Pirone told investigators that Mehserle said he was going to Tase Grant, then warned him to get clear just before firing.)

If Mehserle did experience Taser confusion then he is not guilty of ANY crime. This is what the DA asserted in an earlier California case of Taser confusion:
Wyatt explained that without the intent of criminal negligence, criminal charges against Noriega could not be sustained.

“The required aggravation ... did not occur in this case,” he said.
Criminal negligence is based on foreseeable consequences. If Mehserle thought he was firing his Taser, he can only be liable for the foreseeable consequences of firing his Taser, not his gun. The shooting at that point is just an accident, and the only person who is responsible for creating the dangerous situation in which that accident occurred is Oscar Grant, with his reckless and criminal decision to fight with the police for 30 seconds.

Alameda District Attorney Tom Orloff set aside the Noriega precedent on the grounds that:
... both of Grant's hands were behind his back, a position hands are commonly placed in by police officers in order to handcuff individuals, when the shot was fired into his body.
Orloff somehow decided that the fact that Grant’s hands seemed to be in a compliance position made the shooting “an intentional act” that calls for a charge of murder.

This makes little sense. We already know that Mehserle intended to pull the trigger. His claim is that he thought he was pulling the trigger on his Taser, a point which is unaffected by the position of Grant's hands. Nevertheless, this is the weak reed upon which Orloff decided to hang murder charges, and it turns out to be verifiably false. Grant's hands were NOT both on his back when the shot was fired, as can be seen when the video is slowed down.

Here is an animation of the fatal second:
Fatal second
37;05 – 37;29 of KTVU’s highlighted cell phone video of the shooting, slowed to 1/2 second a frame. Red circle (added) shows the first appearance of officer Mehserle's muzzle flash.

At the start of the animation (after the black frame), Officer Pirone (kneeling on Grant’s shoulder and neck) has just gotten control of Grant’s right hand, pulling it up behind Grant’s back. As the action starts, Pirone lets go and draws back (presumably in response to Mehserle’s Taser warning). Look at the spot where Pirone’s arm pulls back behind his own body. From about this same spot in the image, Grant’s left arm then appears, as Grant starts to swing his own arm up towards his own back. One frame after Grant's left arm first appears (1/15th of a second later), Mehserle’s muzzle-flash first appears (red circle). Then Grant finishes swinging his own arm up onto his own back.

Here is a frame grab of the fatal instant (37;17):

When Mehserle's muzzle flash first appears (red circle) Grant has just started to swing his own left arm (circled in blue) around behind his own back (presumably in a belated attempt to avoid getting Tased).

Grant’s left hand was NEVER under either officer’s control, after they both fought for 30 seconds to get control of it, with Mehserle telling Pirone from the beginning that he thought Grant was “going for his waistband”. Thus Mehserle was certainly justified in trying to Tase Grant, and the clear evidence that he WAS trying to Tase Grant makes this almost certainly an accidental shooting, in which case Mehserle is innocent of ANY crime.

Alec Rawls (the author of these blobgurst posts) has been trying for six weeks to get Bay Area print and television news to let the public know about about this video proof that Orloff's stated grounds for charging officer Mehserle with murder is FALSE. This isn't just news. It vitiates the state's own accusations of criminal behavior, now being used to justify acts of war against the Oakland Police, yet despite repeated outreach to most of the reporters who have been covering this story, the local press still won't report it.

The press also refuses to fact-check Pirone’s claim that the video shows Grant kneeing him multiple times in the groin

Oakland is also inflamed by another portion of the Oscar Grant video, about a minute and a half before the shooting, where Officer Pirone knocks Grant to the ground with a forearm to his head. KTVU interviewed two law professors who both interpreted the blow as an unprovoked criminal assault. Professor Peter Keane, of UC Hastings was the most emphatic:
That officer is committing a crime. … There’s no question in my mind that that’s vivid powerful evidence that he committed a vicious physical assault, unprovoked, upon a citizen, for absolutely no reason.
UC Boalt Professor Franklin Zimring added an important qualification, but unless the public learns that the qualification does in fact apply, the effect is the same:
Unless there’s something more that we don’t see, then the degree of force that was use, and the way it was used, are not justified.
Officer Pirone’s lawyer Bill Rapoport told the press that a frame by frame analysis of the video shows that Pirone was responding to multiple knees to the groin by Grant, but again, our biased media is refusing to fact-check and reported on the accuracy of this easy to verify claim. All they have to do is slow down the video and take a look. Immediately before Pirone strikes Grant, Grant can be seen driving his knees up above 90° into Pirone’s groin. Here is a frame grab of one of the knees:

Grant knees Pirone in the groin
9;05 from KTVU’s raw cell phone video. Surrounding frames show the denim “7” shape in this frame to be Oscar Grant’s right knee, coming up above 90° as Grant tries to knee Pirone in the groin. Full segment here:

The accusations of criminal assault by Pirone are FALSE. He was defending himself against a criminal assault, as anyone can verify just by looking.

KTVU actually slowed the video down for professors Keane and Zimring, but obviously not enough. All KTVU has to do to verify the accuracy of Pirone’s claims is open up their laptop again and slow the video down a bit more, but they have yet to report this video proof that Pirone was defending himself against a vicious assault by Oscar Grant.

If prosecutors claimed that frame by frame analysis showed some previously undetected evidence of police criminality, the frame by frame video would be prime time news for a week. Since it proves Pirone’s innocence, the press is not interested. Even with the murder of four policemen being justified as retaliation for the alleged criminal behavior of Mehserle and Pirone, the entire bay area media remains silent.

So let’s us break the story. The innocence of Pirone and the almost certain innocence of Mehserle are major unreported news. Shout it at the top of your blogs!

If we can break this story, not only might we save some lives in blue, but we can direct the resulting attention to other explosive facts that the media refuses to examine and report, like the terrorist memorial mosque now being built on the Flight 93 crash site.

The Mecca-orientation of the giant crescent makes it a mihrab, the central feature around which every mosque is built. They call it a broken circle now, but the unbroken part of the circle, what symbolically remains standing in the wake of 9/11, remains exactly as it was in the original Crescent of Embrace design. It is still a giant Islamic shaped crescent, still pointing to Mecca.

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