As the Oscar Grant / Johannes Mehserle murder trial nears and end and fears that former BART Police Officer Johannes Mehserle increase, the fears that a riot, or series of riots, will happen in Oakland, Los Angeles, and other cities and towns in California increase, and for good reason. There are clear and visible signs that individuals and groups will take some kind of action that could include violence and property damage, and nowhere is this more apparent than around Lake Merritt in Oakland. There, property damage has already happened.
This video blogger received a tip from a YouTube viewer:
Not sure if you're aware, but there is graffiti in red spray paint throughout the running/walking path in Lake Merritt regarding Oscar Grant and Johannes Mesherle, just thought you may want to possibly cover it, and the peoples reactions while viewing it.
On Sunday, I did just that. My vlogging (video-blogging) journey started with a message painted in red spray paint at the AC Transit bus shelter at the intersection of Perkins Avenue and Grand Avenue in Oakland's Adams Point District. The message read "Mehserle must die too!" and seemed to imply there was at least one more graffiti tag like it around somewhere. So, I went for a walk.
At first, as I arrived at Bellevue and Grand closer to Lake Merritt, there was no other graffitt tag message. So I continued along the walking and running path through Lakeside park until I arrived at what's locally called "The Columns," the structure on the northeastern shore of the Lake that serves an an informal meeting and viewing place between Grand Avenue and Lakeshore Avenue.
There, starting at the end of The Columns on the Grand Avenue side, was the first of three messages. It read "Mehserle must die." The other two are located in what I call the center court area, and at the opposite end of The Columns on the Lakeshore Avenue side.
But it graffiti tagging didn't stop there; it continued around the path next to the Lakeshore on the Lakeshore Avenue side of the water. The majority of the messages, which varied in tone from bad to awful, were next to the benches along the path.
In all I counted 11 messages, all in the video. A sure and clear sign that someone already took action to send a warning of what they either intend to do or wish someone else would do if the Oscar Grant trial ends with Mehserle going free.
The problem is Mehserle just may walk free.
The reason is the charge is murder, not manslaughter. The prosecution in the case has to prove that Johannes Mehserle intended to kill Oscar Grant last year. This is an issue I talked about with Oakland City Attorney John Russo just weeks ago. While not saying outright that Mehserle would "walk," Russo explained that it was going to be difficult to get a murder conviction.
If Johannes Mehserle is set free, Oakland's not going to be the safest place to be on the day of the verdict.