What Part of Unarmed Black Man Doesn’t OPD Understand? Rip Derrick Jones


Today we spoke with lawyer John Burris about this latest shooting on Hard Knock Radio. He gives us some keen insight-Peep the interview here: http://www.kpfa.org/archive/id/65266

We also found out that Derricks family has deep ties into oakland and have long stood up to the police for egregious behavior. A few years ago their activism led to two officers being fired. Was this one of the reasons derrick ran and was ultimately shot?  Check Yahho group

***There will be a March today Thurs 11 2010 starting at 3pm ****

March begins on Bancroft and Seminary near Derrick Jones’ Barbershop and will end at the Fruitvale BART station.


So after a thousand police in full riot gear mass arrest 150 people in a Oakland neighborhood because someone ‘threw a rock’ prompting them to declared the entire block a crime scene, the police went and shot an unarmed man… Read the accounts below.. Also for up to date info on Oscar Grant as well as this case check out IndyBay.org

Another Unarmed Black Brother, Derrick Jones, 37, a loved Oakland barbershop owner and father of an infant girl,
met a violent death on Monday night, Nov.8, 2010, shot and killed by OPD (2 white officers involved), while “fleeing”, after they “thought” they saw a metallic object in his hand.

R.I.P. BROTHER DERRICK JONES. AGAIN.by mesha Monge-Irizarry, Idriss Stelley FoundationNov 9th 2010


Popular barbershop ownerand father 36 year old Derrick Jones was gunned down by Oakland police who thought he had a weapon..

Another Unarmed Black Brother, Derrick Jones, 37, a loved Oakland barbershop owner and father of an infant girl, met a violent death on Monday night, Nov.8, 2010, shot and killed by OPD (2 white officers involved), while “fleeing”, after they “thought” they saw a metallic object in his hand.

This OPD homicide occured only THREE days after Judge Perry sentenced the killer of Oscar Grant III, Johannes Mehserle, to 2 yrs in jail (less double credit for 146 days of time served = 292 days for “good behavior”), for “Unvoluntary Manslaughter”.

This is the third OPD officers involved Homicide of People of Color in 2010.
Derrick Jones’ grieving family has retained the services of John Burris, Oscar Grant’s Family attorney.


Today Tuesday, I caught the end of a Channel 7 talk show,
during which an complacent African American conservative anchor contends:

“By the way, it is my belief that Oscar Grant shooting was ACCIDENTAL”, and interviews a former OPD white officer and current prosecutor who exhorts the public not to jump to racially biased policing conclusion:
“This incident has nothing to do with the case of Oscar Grant. Grant’s killing was unvoluntary, while yesterday shooting was voluntary. You must understand that officers have to make split-second decisions when they have a reasonable belief that a suspect is armed and dangerous, and constitutes a life and death threat against themselves or others. Please you have to understand that it is the scariest scenario in an officer’s life”.


The Corporate press trickles cautious tidbits of information throughout the day.
At first, the race of the dead Brother and of the shooting officers is hidden from the public.
OPD spokesperson reluctantly admits that Jones was UNARMED, and that a “confrontation” occurred.
…Note the constrained terminology ?
Police initial communiques usually emphasize:
“Suspect lunged at the officers who feared for their lives”
or “Suspect pulled out a gun, knife” etc.,
or “Suspect turned around and repeatedly screamed C’mon-M…-F…rs -Go-Ahead- ‘n-Kill-me”
or “Suspect made a sudden furtive move”.

Apparently there has been no physical confrontation in Jones’ case.
Throughout Tuesday, the official party line keeps changing, from “confrontation”,
to “appeared to reach for his waist band”…
to “officer thought they saw a metallic object in the suspect’s hand”.


Remember young Brother Laronte Sturdville, 15, shot by OPD in 2007 while fleeing and attempting to pull up his sagging pants?
Luckily, the child survived after 2 weeks in intensive care, scarred for life, shot in the back of his neck while running, the bullet came out of his chin.
Or, Brother Mac Jodie Fox Woodfox, shot in the back and killed in 2008 while “fleeing” ?
all by OPD, and the hitlist on Oakland’ contemporary Plantation, the land of the-Proud-and-the-Free-OPD is endless amd continues to rage on.
(in one year, 2 months and 2 weeks, killer-cop Meherle is “eligible for release”….).

“Derrick Jones was unarmed and was not reaching toward his waistband when police opened fire”

“Family says man shot by Oakland police was unarmed,
Loved owner of a barber shop and killed by officers during a foot chase disputed police’s account Tuesday that he appeared to be reaching toward his waistband for a weapon”…
“Family and friends of Derrick Jones, 37, called Monday’s shooting unjustified and said witnesses did not see the Oakland man make such a move. They also said Jones was unarmed and that police used excessive force”.
“My cousin is not the type of person to harm anybody,” said Charles Jones…”It’s outrageous for somebody to just kill him like that.”
Police have declined to say how many times Derrick Jones was shot or whether a weapon was found on him, citing the ongoing investigation”…
“When officers arrived, Derrick Jones fled on foot, apparently to escape arrest for assaulting the woman Israel said”…
“But family and friends said Tuesday that Derrick Jones is being wrongly depicted as a ‘monster’ and was only trying to fend off an ex-girlfriend who came to his barbershop causing trouble”…
“the two officers repeatedly told Derrick Jones to stop and tried unsuccessfully to use a stun gun on him. He said the officers also saw Derrick Jones refuse to put up his hands, and he reached toward his waistband several times”….
“one of the officers saw a metal object in Jones’ hand, Israel said”….
“An attorney representing Jones’ family, John Burris, said Tuesday that witnesses he has spoken to said Derrick Jones was unarmed and was not reaching toward his waistband when police opened fire”
“Any time a human life is lost, the surviving family suffers the grief of that loss, so I offer my sympathies to the family of the man who lost his life last night,” Oakland Mayor Dellums said.
“Family and friends said Jones is the father of an infant girl, has been a barber for more than 20 years and has owned his barbershop for the past eight years”…
“Scott Riley, 40, another childhood friend, said Jones served about a year behind bars for carrying a gun to protect himself after he was robbed at his barbershop”…
“He’s being portrayed as a monster, and he wasn’t,” Riley said outside police headquarters. “This is all so senseless.”


Is the Mesherle verdict ensuring OPD’s license to Kill in all impunity ?
No correlation between the Murders of Derrick Jones and Oscar Grant III ?

Apparently, Civil Rights Attorney John Burris does not think so.
Neither do we….
or the 152 Oakland protesters arrested on November 5th after the public release of the Meherle’ sentence.

Mayor Ron Dellum, today, slapped together hasty damage control “condolences” to Brother Derrick Jones’ Grieving Family.


PS.. while folks are reading this lets not forget this monster Johannes Mehserle who’s father is running around predicting he’ll be home by Thanksgiving

Johannes Mehserle Supporters Expect Him Home for Thanksgiving: Recall Efforts to Remove Judge Robert Perry Underway

Mehserle supporters expect him to be home in time for Thanksgiving

So it looks like killer cop Johannes Mehserle‘s father Todd is predicting his son will be home in time for Thanksgiving.. You can peep  his remarks along with the sentiments of his police and pro-police supporters on the Face Book page they set up.


Many have been hawking the police talking point that Oscar Grant brought this death on to himself.  It’s the like they borrowed a page from the old adage ‘repeat a lie often enough and it soon becomes an indisputable truth‘.  So at the end of the day, no matter whats said, expect to hear the retort that Grant was responsible for his death. Its a PR tactic that obviously worked with Judge Robert Perry.

Whats also interesting his reading the remarks where Mehserle supporters were angry with the judge. They said he should’ve known better to bring this to trial. This underscores to me the importance of us fully knowing who sits on these benches. Obviously the Police crowd fully expect judges to ride for them.. That has got to change…

Right now folks on the Oscar Grant side are already starting the process to recall Judge Perry. many are still stunned by his hurtful remarks and light rulings this past Friday.  http://recalljudgeperry.tumblr.com/

Here is more detailed information for the steps needed to impeach a judge..


Here’s some more footage from Oscar Grant Rally


Return to Davey D’s Hip Hop Corner

Oscar Grant Orgs Condemn OPD: Homeland Security, CIA, FBI & DOJ Descended on Oakland

November 6, 2010

The Coalition for Justice for Oscar Grant (ONYX Organizing Committee, The New Years Movement, The General Assembly for Justice for Oscar Grant) condemns the activity of the Oakland Police Department leading up to, during and following the rally held on November 5th, 2010 in response to the sentencing of Johannes Mehserle for the murder of Oscar Grant, III.

While the city publicly claimed it had learned lessons from July 8th and would not militarize downtown Oakland or create a climate of fear and intimidation on November 5th, they privately constructed an all-out military strategy to intimidate and control the people.

Police agencies from at least nine different counties, along with Homeland Security, the FBI, CIA and DOJ descended upon Oakland.  As people gathered to peacefully assemble, they had to wade through rows of police just to get to the City Hall Plaza.  This in itself set a tone of anger for the people as they had just learned that Johannes Mehserle would only serve about 7 months in prison for the cold-blooded murder of Oscar Grant.

Following almost five hours of peaceful protesting, about 300 people decided to march to the Fruitvale BART Station (the location of the murder of Grant on January 1, 2009).  Instead of facilitating the march in a productive and peaceful manner, the police chose to immediately respond with tactical and strategic repression of the people’s will and rights.  The encroachment of the police on to the marchers further fueled the flame of an ignited community and led to an unnecessary confrontation on the streets of Oakland.

Shortly after the march started, about 200 protestors were cornered on the block of East 17th Street and 6th Avenue. The National Lawyers Guild (NLG) attempted to contact city officials and negotiate with the police to release the people with no arrests.   And even though word came that Police Chief Batts had agreed to give an order to release the crowd, moments later the arrests began.  Police officers refused to talk to representatives from the NLG and indeed were hostile.  Negotiating with these representatives from the rally could have further diffused activity on the streets of Oakland, but the police were intent on creating a situation that would then allow them to demonize the people and remove the focus from the unjust, unfair and outright farce of a sentence received by Johannes Mehserle.

Additionally, Chief Batts has been quoted as saying that the police expected protestors to march to Defermery Park but organizers were told explicitly that roads to the park would be blocked by police barricades. They in effect set the stage for their repressive activity to make a point to any other community members intent on making their voices heard in dissent to the system.

The Coalition for Justice for Oscar Grant stands in solidarity with the people arrested on November 5th and we stand firm in our belief that the people have a right to assemble, a right to demonstrate, a right to march and a right to take a stand against a system that continuously oppresses, brutalizes and murders them.

We demand the immediate release of all those arrested on November 5th and that all charges are dismissed.

-The Coalition for Justice for Oscar Grant-

Where are all the Oscar Grant protests when we’re shooting each other in the hood?

It’s time to dispel a pervasive myth. It’s one that suggests Black people are quick to protest incidents of police brutality but nowhere to be seen when it comes to dealing with crime in the community. During the 20 months of protests around Justice for Oscar Grant we’ve all been to town halls where some ‘well-meaning person will stand up and make what they consider a ‘be all end all’ statement about how everyone is misguided for protesting police brutality when we have Black on Black crime happening everyday.

We’ve all read editorials or heard callers on radio talk shows lay claims along these lines; “We are our own worst enemies” “How can we expect the police not to kill us when we keep killing each other” or “Where are all the protests when we’re shooting each other in the hood?”

Now on the surface such remarks seem like a strong dose of tough love where some concerned community member or leader is attempting to redirect misguided anger away from the police and back onto us.. They are supposedly helping get our priorities in order. However, such conclusions are deeply flawed, play into troubling stereotypes and are simply erroneous.

There's always been Peace Efforts in the hood. To suggest there aren't any is a flawed argument

The truth of the matter is we do care about our communities. How we handle complaints against a public servant who we pay with our tax dollars may be very different then how we deal with Ray Ray the Thug who lives in our hood and is causing problems. And to be quite frank, we’ve long had ‘Increase the Peace’ rallies,  ‘Stop the Violence‘ summits Summer Jam festivals to raise money for peace organizations etc all in our communities. Why some insist on acting like they don’t happen is beyond me. It suggests that those who make such claims are disconnected from the people and neighborhood they critiquing.

It’s interesting to note some of these assertions about lack of peace efforts are now increasingly being put forth by police, police sympathizers and right-wing pundits who start off by dismissing activists, protestors and community leaders as misguided or disingenuous for protesting the police but  ‘remaining silent’ to Black on Black crime. Here’s an example of what one police sympathizer posted up on my site the other day.

For the advocates, politicians, religious leader and other community leaders, I found that a lot of you have a habit of getting on the soapbox and crying foul and social justice to your followers when the opportunity avails. However, where are you all when there is/are (1) Black-on-Black or Brown-on-Brown crime, (2) schools are falling apart, (3) affirmative action was eliminated in good old liberal Cali, (3) young Black, Latinas and Asian girls being pimped and exploited [look no further than International Blvd/14th], (4) job/economic development opportunities, (5) low voter/political participation and (6) businesses being looted and temporary shut down that affect jobs and revenue. Where were you all when the young track star was gunned down or the pregnant women were shot or the boy was paralyzed by a stray bullet during piano practice. Where were you? Yes, the typical response to the usually dumbfounded individual when posed the question by the reporter… after trying to find those right words to say, is to blow off the question and stress that injustice of the “racist police” must stop and Oscar Grant’s death will not be in vain. If I was a family member of a victim of crime, I would be saying WTF, where were you all at for me. But, I have found that in the Bay Area, it is better to scream, shout, and react rather than putting deeds to words and being proactive in getting results. Too many of these so-called leaders or voices of the community have been talking (ala Tea Party, Glenn Beck, Fox News etc.) without doing any walking or showing tangible results. And many of them have a hard set take it or leave it mentality (ala Republicans) or it is you and not me mentality. And to tell you the truth, I (and probably the majority of other in Black and Oakland community) are getting real sick of the B.S and rhetoric from these glory hounds.

Here’s another example of a police officer who came out for the Pro-Johannes Mehserle rally in Walnut Creek earlier this summer. He’s the white guy with the baseball hat and you can hear him raising the same questions; Where are you when y’all are out there killing each other?


Now on the surface such remarks sound somewhat ‘logical’ if you watch the news and see coverage of an Oscar Grant protest and don’t see coverage of protests or vigils for victims of crime. The truth of the matter its a false narrative.

For example, several days ago I challenged the person who posted this accusation where he accused organizers of being glory hounds to give me a list of names of organizers who are out there protesting at Oscar Grant rallies, but not doing community based work designed to uplift and heal the community. I also posted up this challenge on my twitter feed. It’s been 4 or 5 days and that person nor anyone else has yet to produce such a list. The reason is because when it comes down to it,  it was all talk. This poster like most critics who echo the sentiment of ‘Where y’all at? was nowhere to be found himself.

In addition, his sweeping statements conveniently discounted the fact that almost all the main organizers behind the Oscar Grant movement have long been involved with healing work in the community. Many are part of organizations that specifically work with at risk youth everyday.

Many of the organizers and activists that have fought for Justice for Oscar Grant have been doing work in their respective communities for a long time. That would include folks like Tony Coleman and spoken word artist Ner City

If he or anyone else actually did look up names then they would’ve discovered most of the folks out there at those rallies come from organizations like Leadership Excellence, Youth Speaks, Eastside Arts Alliance, Black Dot Cafe, Homies, United Playaz, Youth Uprising, Barrios Unidos, Urban Peace Movement, Youth radio, Colorlines, Zulu Nation, Grind for the Green, Silence the Violence, POCC, Ella Baker Center, All of us or None, Love Life Foundation, Malcolm X Grassroots Movement and this is just a short list. Point being… all these organizations as well as the numerous churches ranging from Allen Temple, Olivette, the Nation of Islam etc. involved with seeking Justice for Oscar Grant do work every single day in the community. They do this work without the glare and spotlight of TV cameras.

Much of what they do is not glamorous work. It doesn’t make for good TV news coverage. After all, as most who put in work will tell you, it takes more than a march and a vigil to turn things around in the community. It’s about building trust and nurturing relationships. It’s about teaching folks conflict resolution. It’s about trying to find ways to uplift people’s self-esteem. It’s about being there for those who are in the most distressed situations and helping those find ways to heal those who are lashing out because of past traumas as well as heal those who are victims. There are no easy solutions.

Do we really only come together to protest the police? Almost every last one of the mostly religious leaders pictured here has programs that specifically deal with violence in the community. Look them up, check their record

Many of these organizers are also the ones that frequently serve as long-term mentors to the troubled youth they encounter. Other work with them in art and cultural programs where they can express themselves as a way to healing and finding new direction. Many work in the schools or have been a part of leadership camps where they volunteer their time. Others have given money. Still others go behind the walls either to prison or juvenile facilities to work with those who are usually shunned and discarded. Many do work where they help those who just out of jail transition back into society. Very few have sat back and placated violence in the community. One has to question the sincerity of those who would suggest that. Common sense would tell you otherwise.

With respect to protesting police brutality, there’s a few points we should be clear on. First marches and rallies around instances of police brutality usually happen when the most egregious situations go down. I.e. the shooting death of an unarmed Black man. Not every assault, abuse and humiliation has resulted in a huge show of support. Perhaps they should because then folks who live outside those communities most subjected to police abuse would understand how pervasive and widespread it is. But sadly many find themselves spread thin because they are already doing other critical work in the community.

Most organizers understand police misconduct is systemic and requires long-term solutions where your both pushing for change within the department and pushing for accountability mechanisms on the outside via legislation. Because the police are part of the government which our tax dollars pay for, one may use a variety of tactics to bring attention to a concern and petition for change. Hence a large march and rally in front of city hall in theory sends a strong message to lawmakers the community is upset and is demanding changes.

Lawmakers at City Hall looking out their windows and seeing a large protest  understand the end result could be the community voting them out of office if they ignore their demands. Lawmakers understand that a protest could lead to community members withholding campaign contributions in future elections. They also understand that lack of response to a protest could result in a costly disruption of business as usual. Voting, Protesting and economic punishment are the languages many law makers understand and so a skilled organizer applies them.

This leads us to a deeper understanding of the dynamics at play when we’re dealing with the police. Keep in mind,  we pay their salary, training and equipment with our taxes. They are hired to protect and serve us and have been given an array of powers including the right to carry firearms and use deadly force to help them carry that out their duties. When they fail at their job it’s a big deal because much has been invested in them and much is expected.

This is no different then the way we collectively act when an airplane crashes versus a car. Car crashes happen more frequently, but when  plane crashes our societal confidence  is shattered and we quickly seek ways to ensure the public not to be afraid of boarding a plane again..

When incidents of police brutality occur it shatters the confidence we as people are supposed to have in them and the system. People stand up to seek justice as a way to restore faith into the process we are told we need to take to address grievances. When that also fails which is how many saw the judges sentencing decision of Johannes Mehserle, people move dangerously close to completely checking out and being despondent or  they become extremely angry and start rebelling.

We don’t have the same political investment and focused social expectations of the neighborhood thug. In many ways we feel at the end of the day we have as a community have the tools and resources to ultimately contain and shut down the thug. In the back of many people’s minds we simply have not exhausted all our options. It’s only when we feel we dont have final say so over the thug do we as community react the way we do when the police kill someone.

M-1 of dead prez noted our reaction or lack of reaction to police terrorism centers on how we deal with power

Right now we don’t feel we get the last word with the police..I think M1 of dead prez said it best on our radio show yesterday.. This all boils down to power and who ultimately has it. In theory the people are supposed to have it, but thus far the police as an institution have positioned themselves as the final power broker over various marginalized communties in particular Black and Brown.

With the Oscar Grant killing we saw the police exercise that power by executing him for all to see on the eve of the inauguration of nation getting its first African American president-(January  1 2009) Grant’s public slaying was a brutal reminder to folks that even with a Black President in the White House, you have no power.

That feeling of powerlessness motivated a lot of people to seek justice and turn the tables. Lots of obstacles were tossed in the way and with each step they were overcome and done away with by those seeking justice.. The DA was changed, the BART police chief forced to resign, officers were fired and for the first time in California’s history, a white officer was brought to trial in criminal court for the murder of a Black man. The balance of power was shifting resulting in a people starting to believe the system could be something we could depend upon thus giving the people final say so.

Unfortunately but not surprising, there was major push back as the police departments throughout the state sought to retain their hold. Every single police union in California came to Sacramento pledging support for Johannes Mehserle. They chipped in resources, paid for his lawyer and basically went all out to help him win his trial.

When Judge Robert Perry went out of his way to side with the police and blame Oscar Grant for his own death, it was a cruel reminder to the family and the community at large that we dont have power especially within the system we invested in.

Bottom line is that some of the police brutality cases are much more then isolated incidents.  They are major markers that indicate there’s an opportunity to flip the script, dismantle or at the very least, peel away some layers from an oppressive institution. With this in mind, when you hear someone complain that our community is protesting the police but seemingly not protesting the the day to day violence, its hard not to see this as a ploy to keep us from challenging an institution that needs to be held accountable.

Take a second look at that video from the Pro-Mehserle rally and see if you see a man (the white cop) who is genuinely concerned about the loss of Black lives in the hood or someone who simply wants to hold onto power at all costs.

As for the ‘concerned community’ members who raise these questions… well some folks have always been afraid of us leaving the plantation and being free.

Something to ponder

Davey D

Return to Davey D’s Hip Hop Corner

Do Not Resist the Police! Oakland Police Conduct Mass Arrest During Oscar Grant Protests

Police might as well prepared Marshall Law in Oakland, because they arrested everyone in sight near 6th and east 17th. They declared the entire block a ‘crime scene’ and said everyone within it were arrested as agitators. Police claimed that a rock was thrown at them. Over 150 people were arrested including folks who weren’t even part of the march.

Here’s the link to our special Hard Knock RadioFlashpoints broadcast on the Johannes Mehserle sentencing with myself and Sabrina Jacobs…Our guest included Oscar Grant’s uncle Cephus Johnson aka Uncle Bobby,Jack Bryson who’s sons were on the Fruitvale BART platform w/ Oscar when he was killed….We also spoke with Grant family lawyer John Burris, LA correspondent Thiandiswe ChimurengaM1 of dead prezMinister Keith Muhammad of the Nation of Islam Jesse Strauss Dennis Bernstein and Miguel Molina of Flashpoints and Alan Gomez of Puente Arizona.

Here’s a link to the show



Tonight Oakland Police showed us what Marshall Law was all about as they conducted mass arrests in East Oakland around 6th and East 17th. All in all over 150 people were arrested and likely to be taken to North County or Santa Rita for the weekend.

This all began when about 500 marchers left downtown where city hall is located and attempted to march to the Fruitvale BART station where Oscar Grant was murdered. OPD had devised a boxed in strategy which was described as a scrimmage line. With the use of helicopters, dozens of patrol cars  and undercover cops spread throughout the crowd, police in a series of manuevers tried to corral marchers into a block and immobilize them.

The marchers were a multi-ethnic crowd featuring people of all ages and classes. many were disappointed with the outcome and felt that justice was not served. The overwhelming majority of the marchers were peaceful, in fact this was affirmed early on KGO News who had a reporter in the crowd. As the night went on the narrative changed when it was reported that some car windows were broken. Even though this wasn’t done my  99% of the marchers it was the excuse the police needed. One of the marchers described the police as increasingly aggressive when they found it it difficult to contain 500 people.

When folks arrived at 6th and East 17th the police in riot gear had all sides blocked and declared the area a crime scene. Many of the folks had no idea what that meant and why they were not allowed to leave. Police then announced that everyone except the press would be subjected to arrest. Some marchers were getting conflicting information where they were told they could leave, but when they attempted they were told they could not.

Police were on bull horns telling the crowd ‘This is a crime scene Do Not Resist the Police.” Again no one had any idea why it was a crime scene and what that meant.

Observers from Lawyers Guild were told that a rock was thrown at the police and everyone in the march were going to be arrested as ‘agitators’. This was the story given when I was out there. Imagine our surprise when we got home and saw the evening news running stories saying that someone had snatched a gun from the holster of an officer, and someone else had hit an officer with a car. That wasn’t the 500 people in the march, those were two individuals, both who have been arrested.

We later heard that everyone was arrested for unlawfully assembly. None of this information was made known to the veteran reporters who called into our L’Onda radio show on KPFA including a veteran cop watch leader who was with the marchers as an observer and not allowed to leave with the accredited press.

The police also claim that folks had broken other windows. The question raised is why blame everyone in the march? Police had undercover officers amongst the marchers, they weren’t aware of who specifically violated the law? Why not give folks an opportunity to disperse versus arresting everyone wholesale?

Do Not Resist the Police seemed to be the new mantra from an oppressive force that has now gotten away with murder.

Folks observing the mass arrests were talking about the outlandish remarks attributed to sentencing Judge Robert J Perry. This included him telling the Grant family that with President Obama in the White House folks should not see this incident as racial. He parroted all the talking points of the defense and pretty much blamed Oscar Grant for his own death. Please listen to the radio interview we posted up that features report backs from several people who sat in the courtroom including Grant’s Uncle and news reporter Thandi Chimurenga Here’s the link:http://www.kpfa.org/archive/id/65170

Many are trying to figure out ways to remove him from the bench.. here’s a link to that process http://www.ajs.org/ethics/eth_impeachement.asp


Police systematically booked people. from what we observed they seemed to be separating organizers from 'ordinary folk's

Jack Bryson's two sons were on the platform and witnessed Oscar get killed. He was still in shock over some of the outrageous things Judge Robert Perry said before sentencing Johannes Mehersle. He wants see him recalled

There was hundreds of police out in the streets..They out-numbered protestors

To see more photos click link below


Return to Davey D’s Hip Hop Corner

Killer Cop Gets away w/ Murder: Johannes Mehserle Gets 2 Years w/ Credit for Time Served!

This man got two years w/ credit for time served for shooting an unarmed , subdued man at point blank range..


Hard Knock Radio Oscar Montage: ‘The Verdict & the Letter-We Want Justice

This is a montage put together by DJ Mike Biggz of HKR…This is what we opened our show with this aftermnoon…


Today we had a gross miscarriage of justice.. Judge Robert Perry threw out the gun enhancement clause.. (10yrs) and then gave Johannes Mehserle 2yrs with credit for 146 days with time served..

Football star Plexico Burris did more time shooting himself than Mehserle. Michael Vick did more time  than Mehserle..

Rally today at downtown oakland 2pm.. Shame on mehserle., the Judge and any police officer who sat back and allowed this to take place without speaking out..

Today was not a good day..It makes you wonder if there even is a such thing as JUSTICE.. Maybe it doesn’t exist. maybe we been hoodwinked and bamboozled..

Lemme know if someone knows where JUSTICE is at?

Eric Holder? President Obama? Why are u guys in office if your not gonna make sure justice is not carried out..

We should also remember that earlier today, Neo Nazis showed up at the courthouse and started funk with Black folks, in particular the Black Riders.. One Neo Nazi was arrested while three Black Riders were arrested. Yep the racism was thick both on and off the bench.

Here are two heartfelt speeches to give folks better context as to what’s at stake.. The first one is from Oscar Grant’s ‘sister in law’ ( the aunt to his daughter Tatiana… Its a letter to Judge Robert Perry where she breaks down how his death has impacted the family.. The second is from Minister Keith who has been on the case from day one.. He sums up everything that has happened and what we are ultimately seeking-Justice..

http://www.swift.fm/mrdaveyd/song/76046/ Open Letter to Judge Robert Perry

http://www.swift.fm/mrdaveyd/song/76047/ Minister Keith Speaks

Follow @OscarGrantTrial for up to date info on sentencing on twitter

From Oscar Grant to Pace University Student Danroy Henry-Remembering those Killed by the Police

Bay Area Residents were insulted to see this sign calling for Freedom of a killer cop during the SF Giants Playoff game.

This past week the Bay Area and those who want Justice 4 Oscar Grant were insulted when the father and supporters of killer cop Johannes Mehserle showed up to McCovey Cove in a Yacht next to Candlestick Park during the Giants playoff games and unfolded ‘Free Mehserle’ banners. The signs were seen nationwide as TV cameras would show the signs when panning into the outfield.

Bay Area folks weren’t having it and dispatched a boat of their own to the cove to unveil large Justice 4 Oscar Grant banners. Police supporters driving the Yacht attempted ram the Grant boat and now the Bay is on fire as the November 5th sentencing looms near.

This Saturday at 12 noon there will be a huge rally in downtown Oakland in front of City Hall.. The rally sponsored by the Longshoremen’s Union will be accompanied by them shutting down ports on the west coast to bring attention to the Oscar Grant case…

As folk here in Cali rally for Oscar Grant, many will also have their hearts, minds and attention on the recent police killing of 20-year-old star football player and Pace University student Danroy Henry aka DJ Henry.

For folks who don’t know the story, last weekend, Henry and fellow teammate and best friend Brandon Cox were parked in the fire lane in front of a bar in Westchester County near the Pace University campus, when a chaotic fight broke out. Henry and Cox weren’t involved. In fact Henry was the designated driver and was waiting to take his friends home.  When police showed up on the scene and did what they normally do, start barking orders with a ‘take no mess‘ attitude as they began ordering folks around, trying to clean up the scene. Among those ordered was Henry.

According to police they tapped on the window of Henry’s car and ‘he suddenly sped off hitting an officer and putting his life in danger‘. Police claimed they were fearing for their lives as one officer was supposedly clinging to the hood of the car, thus compelling them to shoot and kill Henry. Note this is the story the police told and its been debunked by dozens of witnesses on the scene.

According to passenger Brandon Cox and witnesses to the horrific scene, cops tapped on the window and Henry slowly drove off believing he was being ordered move away from the fire lane. He didn’t speed off and no officer was hit and left clinging to his windshield, yet shots were fired into the vehicle killing Henry. This was a popular well mannered young man who was not a known troublemaker, had no criminal record and who was unarmed.

Our hearts go out to Pace University football player 20 year old Danroy Henry who gunned down by police & handcuffed while he lay dying. Thousands came out for his vigil. This week's Pace games were canceled

After the car was stopped/crashed, Henry was pulled out and handcuffed while he lay on the ground dying. His friends rushed to his aid and were tasered and handcuffed by Mt Pleasant police. . Some of his friends knew CPR and wanted to keep him alive. They were in shock he was shot by the police. It was only after witnesses, many of them white screamed at police that what they did was wrong that they relented and took the handcuffs off the mortally wounded Henry.

When the ambulance arrived, medical workers were directed to the police officers who were hardly injured (they got hurt after shooting Henry). While they looked after the police, Henry lay on the ground with bullets wounds for over 15 minutes before he was tended to…As we know he eventually died from his injuries.  More details around this are still forth coming. Thousands came out for a vigil to honor Henry. This week’s Pace football game  was cancelled

Our experience with Oscar Grant, had many of us here in Cali wondering if police in Mt Pleasant, NY employed similar tactics to cover up their wrong doings. If folks recall, in the first hours after Grant was shot, police funneled reports to local media about him having a criminal past. This was aired and used as some sort of justification for him being killed that fateful New Years morning. We’re almost sure police were looking for dirt on Henry. Fortunately this was a good kid and so the typical police narrative of the bad apple being shot doesn’t hold water.  As we speak police have been combing the area ‘looking for witnesses to collaborate their story’ that Henry was in the wrong and put officers lives in danger.

Oscar Grant

We don’t think so. For many of us this is Sean Bell and Oscar Grant all over again. Our condolences and prayers to the Henry family. They stated in interviews that they want the truth. We hope that’s afforded to them and that the police do what never happened with Grant, apologize to them for this inexcusable behavior.

We also hope that good minded peace officers will take bold steps forward and speak out and say ‘enough is enough’. It’s good to see Republican Senator Scott Brown of Massachusetts, Henry’s home state, is speaking out and calling for an investigation. Hopefully President Obama will speak out the way he’s done when officers have been slain.

Many of us will be speaking out both today Oct 22 and tomorrow during the rally as we pay tribute to Grant and other victims of police violence. We leave you with some videos that will hopefully raise awareness about the gravity of police brutality.

written by Davey D






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Man Facing 16 Years for Videotaping the Police..A Full Fledged Police State Looms Larger

Police are pushing hard to make it a crime to videotape them.. They are making the case that even though they are public servants filming them without permission should be off limits.. This is not good at all… We been talking about this for weeks, how police departments all over the country, have been making moves to get laws passed making it a felony to videotape them. They have been citing wiretapping laws and parts of the Patriot Act.

Up to now, having video cameras has been the saving grace for many for many police brutality cases. Imagine if the murder of an unarmed Oscar Grant at an oakland subway station wasn’t videotaped? If folks recall, the day after he was shot, police released his criminal record to local newspapers and spun a narrative which suggested that he deserved to be shot because he had done wrong in the past. This information had huge impact as defenders of  Johannes Mehserle, the cop who killed Grant, have touted his criminal background as a reason to side with the convicted officer and see his action as ‘accidental’.

The push to shut down videotaping is coupled with most police departments having what is known as the Police Man’s Bill of Rights or some other Police protection law that allow officers to keep reports of violent incidents hidden, restrict them from having to polygraph tests, have their lockers searched and even have records of complaints excluded during any sort of criminal proceedings. We saw this play out during the Grant case. The world got to know about Grant past but not the unsavory things of  Mehserle who was no angel. Add all that up to this new tactic to enforce wire tapping laws and we now see the a full court press to keep citizens at a severe disadvantage.

Where might one wish to videotape the police? Let’s say we have concerns that racial profiling laws are being violated in Arizona under the controversial SB 1070. There’s a sizeable population of people who feel concerned that police will go overboard or that indviduals like Sheriff Joe Arpiao will defy court restrictions and direct officers to push the envelop and be aggressive in stopping people. Videoapes would be the best way for all concerned to keep everyone honest, but if we have wiretapping laws being cited and possible jail time being the result, this is more then chilling.

You wanna see where this has troubling effects? Look at the news Blackout that took place last year during the student protests in Iran. Many of us were upset and thought it barbaric that Iran had restricted  journalists and were beating and jailing protestors who videotaped police who were brutalizing protestors. How in the world did we here in the US get to a place where we are behaving like the country’s we heavily criticized? What will the public do when law enforcement starts putting into place new mass arrest techniques like Operation Falcon which has been damn near ignored by Main Stream media. How will we keep officers involved with that operation accountable?

I’ll leave you with one more food for thought…In recent days we learned that Google is working with the CIA to monitor websites. Does Google which owns Youtube start working with local law enforcement to restrict police videotapes from being loaded up. Police departments have been upset with Youtube stating that it puts officers in bad light and even in danger. We disagree. Videotaping keeps folks accountable and brings attention to rogue cops.

What’s even more troubling is Google now working with Verizon to cut a deal to end Net Neutrality… Imagine if we have situation where a website monitoring or video of police abuse is suddenly restricted or made to load frustratingly slow on the internet. Folks the day is coming where the flow of information is being shut down and blacked out..

Below is the video that has Anthony Graber in hot water.

-Davey D-


Should Videotaping the Police Really Be a Crime?


Read more: http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,2008566,00.html?xid=huffpo-direct#ixzz0vjwcZVun

Anthony Graber, a Maryland Air National Guard staff sergeant, faces up to 16 years in prison. His crime? He videotaped his March encounter with a state trooper who pulled him over for speeding on a motorcycle. Then Graber put the video — which could put the officer in a bad light — up on YouTube.

It doesn’t sound like much. But Graber is not the only person being slapped down by the long arm of the law for the simple act of videotaping the police in a public place. Prosecutors across the U.S. claim the videotaping violates wiretap laws — a stretch, to put it mildly.

These days, it’s not hard to see why police are wary of being filmed. In 1991, the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) beating of Rodney King was captured on video by a private citizen. It was shown repeatedly on television and caused a national uproar. As a result, four LAPD officers were put on trial, and when they were not convicted, riots broke out, leaving more than 50 people dead and thousands injured (two officers were later convicted on federal civil rights charges).

More recently, a New York Police Department officer was thrown off the force — and convicted of filing a false report — because of a video of his actions at a bicycle rally in Times Square. The officer can plainly be seen going up to a man on a bike and shoving him to the ground. The officer claimed the cyclist was trying to collide with him, and in the past, it might have been hard to disprove the police account. But this time there was an amateur video of the encounter — which quickly became an Internet sensation, viewed more than 3 million times on YouTube alone.

In the Graber case, the trooper also apparently had reason to want to keep his actions off the Internet. He cut Graber off in an unmarked vehicle, approached Graber in plain clothes and yelled while brandishing a gun before identifying himself as a trooper.

Back when King was beaten, it was unusual for bystanders to have video cameras. But today, everyone is a moviemaker. Lots of people carry video cameras in their pockets, on iPhones, BlackBerrys and even their MP3 players. They also have an easy distribution system: the Internet. A video can get millions of viewers worldwide if it goes viral, bouncing from blog to blog, e-mail to e-mail, and Facebook friend to Facebook friend.

No wonder, then, that civil rights groups have embraced amateur videos. Last year, the NAACP announced an initiative in which it encouraged ordinary citizens to tape police misconduct with their cell phones and send the videos to the group’s website, www.naacp.org.

Law enforcement is fighting back. In the case of Graber — a young husband and father who had never been arrested — the police searched his residence and seized computers. Graber spent 26 hours in jail even before facing the wiretapping charges that could conceivably put him away for 16 years. (It is hard to believe he will actually get anything like that, however. One point on his side: the Maryland attorney general’s office recently gave its opinion that a court would likely find that the wiretap law does not apply to traffic stops.)

Last year, Sharron Tasha Ford was arrested in Florida for videotaping an encounter between the police and her son on a public sidewalk. She was never prosecuted, but in June, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Florida sued the city of Boynton Beach on her behalf, claiming false arrest and violation of her First Amendment rights.

The legal argument prosecutors rely on in police video cases is thin. They say the audio aspect of the videos violates wiretap laws because, in some states, both parties to a conversation must consent to having a private conversation recorded. The hole in their argument is the word “private.” A police officer arresting or questioning someone on a highway or street is not having a private conversation. He is engaging in a public act.

Even if these cases do not hold up in court, the police can do a lot of damage just by threatening to arrest and prosecute people. “We see a fair amount of intimidation — police saying, ‘You can’t do that. It’s illegal,'” says Christopher Calabrese, a lawyer with the ACLU’s Washington office. It discourages people from filming, he says, even when they have the right to film.

Ford was not deterred. According to her account, even when the police threatened her with arrest, she refused to turn off her video camera, telling her son not to worry because “it’s all on video” and “let them be who they continue to be.”

The police then grabbed her, she said, took her camera and drove her off to the police station for booking.

Most people are not so game for a fight with the police. They just stop filming. These are the cases no one finds out about, in which there is no arrest or prosecution, but the public’s freedoms have nevertheless been eroded.

Ford was right to insist on her right to videotape police actions that occur in public, and others should too. If the police are doing their jobs properly, they should have nothing to worry about.

Cohen, a lawyer, is a former TIME writer and a former member of the New York Times editorial board

Read more: http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,2008566,00.html?xid=huffpo-direct

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Democracy Now: Panel Discussion on the Importance of Social Media in Building Community & Resistance

Click HERE to Listen & Watch Panel


Transcript to Democracy Now Panel Discussion

Veronica Arreola

AMY GOODMAN: We’re broadcasting from Las Vegas, Netroots Nation, a convention where thousands of people have gathered, and “social media” is the watchword of the day. This is Chicago-based blogger Veronica Arreola. Her blog is vivalafeminista.com.

VERONICA ARREOLA: I got involved in blogging, late 2000, after the election. There was a lot of discussions online and LISTSERVs, and I really felt like I needed a place of my own to get my views out, opinions out, talk about what was going on in terms of the election and the election results and how long it had dragged out. So I’ve been doing that since late 2000, got onto Facebook pretty early, because I work at a university, and that’s where the students are, and that’s where I need to talk to them and get them to events, and then jumped on Twitter after some friends said I needed to get on. And I’ve really used—I’ve really found it very helpful in terms of activism, in terms of community work.


VERONICA ARREOLA: Just spreading messages, talking about events. I’m on the board of the Chicago Abortion Fund. And this past spring there was a national bowl-a-thon, and I did a lot of my fundraising through social media, through Facebook, Twitter, just asking people to please—

AMY GOODMAN: And how effective was it?

VERONICA ARREOLA: I think it was really highly effective. I think I raised more money through Facebook and Twitter than I would have just sending emails or calling people and talking to people one-on-one, because I was able to dip into a larger pool.

AMY GOODMAN: What’s your blog called?

VERONICA ARREOLA: My blog is “”http://www.vivalafeminista.com”>Viva la Feminista.”

AMY GOODMAN: And what has been your project this summer?

VERONICA ARREOLA: This summer, I’m asking Latinas to post about being Latina and their thoughts about feminism—good, bad, long, short, academic, or just personal stories. I’m getting mostly personal stories. And I call it “Summer of Feminista.”

AMY GOODMAN: That’s Veronica Arreola of vivalafeminista.com. She was speaking to me at the Netroots Nation convention.

Well, for more on the use of social media in building community, I’m joined here in Las Vegas by Aimee Allison. She’s a Bay Area radio host, producer of the daily KPFA Morning Show, and she’s also founded this innovated local media project called OaklandSeen, as in S-E-E-N, seen and heard.

Also here with us, Davey D is a hip-hop journalist and activist. He runs the popular website “Davey D’s Hip Hop Corner” at daveyd.com, co-host also on KPFA of HardKnock Radio.

And we’re joined by the Cheryl Contee. She is the founder of “Jack and Jill Politics.” Well, she’s actually Cheryl to us here, but she’s Jill Tubman at “Jack and Jill Politics.”

I want to welcome you all to Democracy Now!, to be with you all in Las Vegas. Aimee, talk about social media, what it means to you. I mean, you’re a longtime radio broadcaster; interesting also, you’re a veteran. But why go from radio to social media?

Aimee Allison

AIMEE ALLISON: Here’s what we’re facing in 2010: radio being an old media that accesses—it’s low-tech, and lots of people can access it, but, as we saw earlier this week, one of thirteen human beings are on Facebook. That means that social media is becoming more and more the way that people access their news and connect with other people. So, through OaklandSeen.com, it was an effort to fill the local reporting gap that we found in Oakland to engage more people and to facilitate people reporting their own news and to talk to each other about issues that they’re facing the most. And what we found when we combined old technology, radio, with new technology, social networks and blogs, we have a level of engagement that supports the development of local communities, constituencies and democracy at home. It’s fantastic.

AMY GOODMAN: Cheryl Contee, you’ve been doing “Jack and Jill Politics” for how long?

CHERYL CONTEE: For three years.

AMY GOODMAN: What does “social media” mean?

CHERYL CONTEE: Social media, to me, means the opportunity to reach people in a way never before possible. When we founded “Jack and Jill Politics,” it was not long after the last—the original Netroots Nation YearlyKos. And at the time, we were talking about isn’t it a shame that more blacks aren’t blogging. Today we have a vibrant community at Jack and Jill Politics. We’ve changed the racial narrative in this country many times. And now African Americans, in many ways, are at parity. When you factor in mobile internet access, there is no digital divide, according to a Pew internet study last year. And Business Insider, just this year, says that 25 percent of those on Twitter are African American, which is twice their population percentage.

AMY GOODMAN: Davey D, talk about what you’re doing, also longtime radio broadcaster on commercial radio, then at Pacific Radio, but you also have been doing this social media thing for a long time.

DAVEY D: Well, I’ve been on the net since 1991, so I’ve been around for a minute. But at the crux of it is, it’s just about communication. And you’re looking at a variety of communities that have often been exed out of the opportunity to talk to themselves without a media middleman or to talk to their communities without having their messages distorted. So, this is a continuum. You know, when I first started, the reason why people went on the internet was for that very reason. And over the years, you’ve seen different variations of technology come along that have made it a little bit more efficient. So social media right now, in the form of Facebook or Twitter, which, you know, many of us are on, just really allows us to get around this increasing consolidation and regulation of speech between different communities. So, that’s been the attraction.

And what’s interesting is that old media doesn’t seem to get it. You know, they seem to want to have more of a situation where they talk at you, for the purposes of marketing, increasingly more for the purposes of just blanketing us with a particular political or social message, and to marginalize the voices of dissent, various angles that people have on a particular issue, and to challenge a narrative that oftentimes only serves the purposes of a particular corporation.

AMY GOODMAN: Davey D, you’ve been tweeting a lot about Oscar Grant. Tell us quicly that story and how social media has been used in his killing.

DAVEY D: Well, I think the main thing is that before the word could get out—well, let me just back up. The police had a narrative, from day one. They went and looked at his background and put that out there, and it was quickly countered by those of us who were on the internet, to say, well, let me show you the cop’s background, and let me show you what other people saw that night.

AMY GOODMAN: And this, again, is about the young man who was killed.

DAVEY D: Right, that was killed. Going up to the verdict—

AMY GOODMAN:On the subway platform.

DAVEY D: Yeah. Going up to the verdict—

AMY GOODMAN: By a police officer.

Davey D

DAVEY D: Yeah. Going up to the verdict, there was a narrative that they painted around the country, which people started to build off of, and it mainly centered around “Why don’t black people just learn how to behave?” when it was the multi-ethnic crowd that was out there, you know, protesting, speaking truth to power, and some of them rebelling, you know? And so, when you looked at the national pictures, you saw black folks. But people like me were filming, and we saw a variety of people. So, when you put it up against mainstream media versus what many of us were able to say, then you saw that there was a falsehood in what mainstream was doing, and you saw that falsehood connected with political, economic and social agendas that have nothing to do with the variety of communities that were outraged about a cop being—who got away with murder, as far as we’re concerned.

AMY GOODMAN: Aimee Allison?

AIMEE ALLISON: The protest in Oakland after Johannes Mehserle, the former BART officer, was convicted of involuntary manslaughter, which many people thought was a very easy verdict after what we saw—social media spread the word and let everyone see the video, so we all saw it. And then, the verdict was surprising to many people. If you compare, though, the way that the protests were covered two weeks ago and the way they were covered a year ago, it was night and day. Social media came and changed the whole conversation about what Oaklanders think. It was a lot more diverse and nuanced and powerful. We were able to capture and share the message out beyond, not only to Oakland, but to the world, of how Oaklanders had come together in nonviolence. We were able to tell a story about how the local peace movement had taken the lead in working with the city.

But all of this happened in the context locally of a very important urban issue, which is that Oakland is struggling, as many cities are, with revenue and with dealing with deficits. And we had just had the fight with the police officers’ union and a sense of how the city was going to avoid cutting more libraries and schools, and so the whole coverage of the protest happened in a political environment where social media was able to say, “Look, we want to hold police accountable for their activities out in the street. We want to have a broader conversation about crime and public safety. And we’re not going to accept the narrative a year ago that there was just a bunch of rioting and we need more cops.” That was directly as a result of citizens themselves and bloggers, as well as other folks, telling the story and talking to each other about the impact of not only the violence that happened against Oscar Grant in the first place, but the policing and the aftermath.


DAVEY D: One thing that I think is important is that there’s a context to even revolting. And what social media allowed us to do was explain what happened the first time there were riots in the street, which was seven days of the mayor not speaking, seven days of the district attorney not speaking, seven days of people going up and asking, “what’s going on?” and then people saying, “OK, we’ll let you know what’s going on,” and having a revolt and having a political and social context to that. Even what happened after the verdict, there was a way to explain that narrative, which was counter to what the mainstream was saying.

The other thing that’s important is that mainstream has become increasingly more embedded. What they didn’t tell you in the recent verdict was the fact that many of the mainstream journalists were standing right next to the police. They were embedded with them, so they had the best angles. And I’ve never seen that before. I know that it goes on overseas in war, but to come here and say, “Hey, wait a second. You’re ABC, CBS. You’re right there next to the cops!” So what does that mean at the end of the day when the story is told? I couldn’t cover the way that I would normally, even with a press pass, because they said, “We made new press passes, and you have to have a special one, and you have to be standing next to the police.” That’s very different, and that’s very dangerous, because it’s in the context of news being censored and controlled and manipulated by corporations all over the country. And that was just a prime example of that taking place in Oakland, in this case, with the police. But corporations and police are the same thing, if you look at what BP is doing, censoring media. So I don’t see it as being very different. It’s just controlling the narrative.

AMY GOODMAN: You know, it’s interesting you raise this, because when we were arrested in St. Paul—my colleagues Sharif Abdel Kouddous and Nicole Salazar and I arrested by the St. Paul police covering the Republican National Convention—we weren’t alone among journalists.

DAVEY D: Right.

AMY GOODMAN: There were more than forty journalists arrested. When I went the next morning, after I was released, to the police chief’s news conference and asked him what does he expect journalists to do and what has he instructed his police to do if they’re arresting journalists, he said we could embed, embed with a mobile field force, using that model of reporters embedding in the frontlines of troops as a way to cover American cities. Cheryl Contee, did you want to weigh in here?

Cheryl Conte

Cheryl Conte

CHERYL CONTEE: Right. And so, in this changing environment in the media, social media provides an unfiltered voice. No longer do we have an intermediary to tell us the story, as we did before, where journalists represented the community’s voice, now the community has their own voice. And during the Oscar Grant protests and rallies, you know, you got pictures live from the scene. And on our blog, we actually listed some of the Twitter reports, just to show this is what’s actually happening on the ground, just to provide a balance with the mainstream media.

AMY GOODMAN: It reminds me of the Battle of Seattle ten years ago when you had CNN saying that—repeating the police line that they weren’t using rubber bullets, but we were picking them up by the handfuls. And it was Indymedia and indymedia.com that really exploded on the scene then, when these pictures were being showed and you had more people hitting indymedia.com than cnn.com. Aimee?

AIMEE ALLISON: And see, I think that’s an excellent point, because through the Johannes Mehserle protests, OaklandSeen Facebook and Twitter followers grew more than 40 percent. And people started to acknowledge, “Hey, you know what? For the information on the ground and the real unfiltered stuff that’s happening, I’ve got to go to a source like OaklandSeen, because if I turn on the news, I’m really going to get the same stories, and it’s not really reflective of what I think about my own city or the—you know, kind of the details I’m looking for.” So people are starting to turn in a city like Oakland to alternative news sources, and I think that that’s fabulous, particularly in a place locally where our papers have consolidated and local coverage has suffered so much.


DAVEY D: I think one of the other important things is that when you look at a situation like the Oscar Grant scenario, none of us are really organizers. I’m not an organizer. But there was dozens of organizers there whose voices never get heard. They don’t show up on the evening news. They’re not often quoted. And there’s a context to which they speak. And so, one of the things that social media allowed us to do was really get the full narrative from their perspective, whether it was Uncle Bobby who’s Oscar’s uncle,  and why he condemned some of the coverage that was going on, or why he talked about what the police were doing. We got to hear his full thing. We got to hear why he rejected Mehserle’s apology, without just the thirty-second sound bite that was played around the nation. We got to present and let people hear  the full four-minute speech that he gave. And that becomes important.

We got to let you know what the organizers think, what were they doing and how did they all come together. That story was just as important as the trial and the verdict itself. And those stories got out to the rest of the country in a way that inspired folks, let people know that there’s a richer context to what was taking place in Oakland. And lastly, it put a spotlight on the media, because it showed how lazy they were, when all these stories were being unearthed, and you’re going, “Well, wait a second. You’re the mainstream media with millions of dollars in the budget. How come we just got this very two-dimensional narrative?”

AMY GOODMAN: Cheryl Contee, as we wrap up, tomorrow you’re going to be hosting Nancy Pelosi. She’ll be addressing the Netroots Nation convention. You’re Jill Tubman at “Jack and Jill Politics.” Why Jill Tubman?

CHERYL CONTEE: Originally, many of the black political bloggers wrote under pseudonyms, because the history of the United States shows that outspoken African Americans are often targets, one way or another. And so, I was frankly afraid to write under my full voice until I really understood the consequences of what that would be. And it allowed me to write more freely.

I came out of the closet, if you will, of the blog closet, about two years ago, and it was fantastic to really receive a lot of applause. So I’m really looking forward to sitting down with Speaker Pelosi and representing the community. It’s an interactive session, so we’ve been taking comments from the internet. People are voting with their feet. People really want to know about the Youth Promise Act, for example. They want to know about Social Security, the economy, jobs. And so, I’m really looking forward to having a chance to reflect that.

AMY GOODMAN: If people want to participate, where do they go? How do they tap in?

CHERYL CONTEE: Oh, right. So if people—you can still ask questions to me. You can use the hash tag nn10pelosi on Twitter. You can go to the Netroots Nation Facebook. Or you can go to “”http://www.jackandjillpolitics.com”>Jack and Jill Politics,” and you’ll see there’s a blog post stuck to the top right now, and leave a comment.

AMY GOODMAN: And where do people go to find OaklandSeen, Aimee Allison?

AIMEE ALLISON: OaklandSeen, S-E-E-N.com. And we have a Facebook group and a Twitter group. So we not only report and encourage people to blog and contribute media, but we’re talking to each other, which is amazing.


DAVEY D: You can reach me at daveyd.com or mrdaveyd, D-A-V-E-Y-D, on Twitter.

AMY GOODMAN: Thanks very much for being with us here at the Netroots Nation, Davey D, Cheryl Contee aka Jill Tubman, and Aimee Allison.

Click the link below to watch and listen to panel discussion


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