Tuesday, October 19, 2010

2010-10-19 Dueling Boats: "Justice 4 Oscar Grant" vs. "Free Mehserle"

2010-10-19 "Giants Fans Support Justice for Oscar Grant"
BART Police officer, Johannes Mehserle, murdered Oscar Grant - he shot him in his back while he was handcuffed. Mehserle's father put out a boat in McCovey Cove asking to "Free Mehserle" - but we want to spread our message: Justice for Oscar Grant!

This was displayed at the game! Spread the word: Justice 4 Oscar Grant! Get that Mehserle boat out of McCovey Cove!

2010-10-19 "FOX Gives Johannes Mehserle National Spotlight During Giants Game" by Joe Eskenazi [http://blogs.sfweekly.com/thesnitch/2010/10/fox_gives_johannes_mehserle_na.php]:
Locals long ago wrote off the dueling "Free Johannes Mehslerle" and "Justice for Oscar Grant" boats in McCovey Cove as part of what makes San Francisco San Francisco.
Yet national audiences watching today's Phillies-Giants contest in Game 3 of the National League Championship Series were likely confused by the massive Mehserle banner hogging the screen during the seventh-inning stretch.
 As Zooey Deschanel -- one of our favorite Deschanels -- belted out "God Bless America," the world's most infamous BART cop stole the scene.
For the record, Mehserle, convicted of involuntary manslaughter for shooting unarmed BART passenger Grant in the back, remains in custody.

2010-10-08 "Mehserle, Grant Banners Duel In McCovey Cove During Giants Games" by April Siese from "San Francisco Appeal"
Remember when the only thing you had to worry about when boating in McCovey cove was not to kick up too many waves for the guy putting on his miniature golf-inspired dinghy? Boy, have times changed since then. Thanks to the visibility of a nationally televised game and a few rather dour banners, Johannes Mehserle and Oscar Grant are back in the spotlight.
An SFist reader snapped this glaring photo of the "Justice 4 Johannes" sailboat [http://sfist.com/2010/09/17/mccovey_cove_free_mehserle_sentimen.php], which reportedly belongs to Todd Mehserle, father of Johannes, the former BART cop convicted of killing Oscar Grant [http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/local-beat/Free-Johannes-Banner-Mystery-Solved-103401254.html]. The boat has reportedly appeared at several of the Giants games this season, and is quite visible from the stands.
Some people appeared to be supportive of this message: NBCBayArea's adjective-based rating system even shows 75% of their readers as "thrilled" at one report of the banner/boat [http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/politics/Free-Johannes-Banner-Flies-High-at-ATT-103240429.html], 86% at another [http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/local-beat/Free-Johannes-Banner-Mystery-Solved-103401254.html].
Given what they describe as the "positive light given to Johannes Mehserle both in recent local media news stories and through the massive banner hung on his brothers' sailboat [http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2010/10/07/18660865.php]," an organization called Oakland for Justice [http://www.oaklandforjustice.org/] has set sail with their own boat, bearing what they say is a 40-foot banner displaying the message "Justice 4 Oscar Grant," which they say will float in McCovey Cove near AT&T Park during the remainder of the Giants' season.
Todd Mehserle, who also says he plans be out in McCovey Cove for every home game for the rest of the season, encourages those who feel his son was wrongly convicted to write to the judge responsible for Johannes' sentencing (scheduled for Nov 5) or sign a petition on his website [http://justice4johannes.com/], which says it will help visitors "(d)iscover the truth the other side doesn't want you to know!"
Oakland for Justice takes a strong tone as well, saying that "(b)eyond jailing Mehserle, we seek a more comprehensive form of justice which would demand a disbanding or at the least disarming of BART police, the firing of officers complicit in the cover up of Oscar Grant's murder, repealing or revising the CA Police Bill of Rights."

2010-10-07 "Justice 4 Oscar Grant in McCovey Cove at Giants Playoff Game" by dave id[http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2010/10/07/18660853.php?show_comments=1]:
 WHO: A-Team for Justice 4 Oscar Grant
 WHAT: 40-FOOT BANNER, Justice 4 Oscar Grant
 WHEN: Thursday, October 7, 2010, during Giants Playoff
 WHERE: AT&T Park Cove, SF
It is not without compassion for the pains of the Mehserle family that we chose to publicize an alternative message regarding the issue of “justice” as it relates to the murder of Oscar Grant. In response to the positive light given to Johannes Mehserle both in recent local media news stories and through the massive banner hung on his brothers' sailboat, we wish to present a similarly positive light for the victim of Mehserle’s crime, showing due respect for Oscar Grants family and their loss. As Johannes Mehserle was reportedly a good son, father, and brother, so was Oscar Grant, and so were many other victims of fatal police shootings within the last 3 months in California alone: Manuel Jamines, 37-years-old, of Los Angeles, Rita Elias, 31 years-old, of Modesto, James Rivera, 16 years-old, of Stockton, Fred Collins, 48 years-old, of Oakland and Michael Lee, 43 years-old, of San Francisco.
In light of these recent shootings by police officers we agree with Mehserle’s family that there is nothing terribly exceptional about his actions on the morning of 1/1/09 as a policeman in the line of duty, however we do not believe that makes them acceptable. Mehserles actions are indicative of a culture of police impunity. We want to see an end to police impunity, especially in cases of violence and murder. Relying on the courts for justice means relying on a dishonest system that demonizes some and exonerates others; “justice 4 Mehserle” must take into account above all justice for Oscar Grant.
 Beyond jailing Mehserle, we seek a more comprehensive form of justice  which would demand a disbanding or at the least disarming of BART police, the firing of officers complicit in the cover up of Oscar Grant’s murder,  repealing or revising the CA Police Bill of Rights, to help put an end to  the injustice that happens at the hands of police officers. In the meantime, however, we remain under the rule of the current system and seek  justice within its parameters. While demanding the maximum sentencing for Mehserle’s crime would simply mean another person behind bars, police officers must be held accountable for violent actions just as civilians are.
Huge banner in same cove Mehserle's brother has put up "Free Mehserle" banner at previous Giants games this season. Message loud and clear to tens of thousands of baseball fans and TV cameras as November 5th sentencing approaches and Mehserle's attorney asks for new trial. [http://indybay.org/oscargrant]

2010-10-07 "night photo with ballpark lights on banner" by dave id [http://www.justice4oscargrant.net]

photo from inside the stadium: Mehserle boat arrives towards the end of the game and attempts to block the Justice 4 Oscar Grant banner. Both banners are clearly visible to fans watching the game inside the stadium.

2012-10-07 "Glad the Oscar Grant ship was out instead of Free Mesherle" by "for the win!": Glad to see the Justice 4 Oscar Grant boat out in the cove instead of the Free Mesherle, It was probaly good luck for the win, Go Giants & justice for 4 Oscar Grant and all those who have been denied that right by the police or other forms of injustice. Let's keep fighting for the win! Justice 4 Oscar and go Giants!
2010-10-19 "Round 2!!" by "@ction": Today during the third game of the National League playoffs the Justice 4 Oscar Grant boat was joined by a second boat in McCovey Cove. The two additional banners on the second boat included the messaging, "Oscar Grant Was Murdered" and "Jail Killer Cops." Though the Mehserle boat arrived early and dropped anchor in the front in the cove, the two boats of the Justice for Oscar Grant flotilla were able to position themselves strategically, and were again visible from inside the stadium. Lots of other boats were present in the cove, as this game was the first home game of the series. Many folks on the water expressed their support of the justice for Oscar Grant messaging. Some did not realize that there was a pro-Mehserle boat on the water and were excited to see the response. Many expressed disbelief that the 'cop boat' was there in the first place. The Mehserle banners were not raised until the mid-point of the game. Fox news liked that. (http://blogs.sfweekly.com/thesnitch/2010/10/fox_gives_johannes_mehserle_na.php)

2010-10-19 "Mehserle comment" by "bad cop": If you didn't already know, there is a Free Johannes Mehserle page with frequent commentary by Mehserle's father, Todd, who is on the boat. [http://et-ee.facebook.com/group.php?gid=57224924496&v=wall]
Today Todd Mehserle posted: If the Giants make it past the Phillies I need to raise $$$$ to make a Jail Criminals NOT cops. Banner. There are at least two OG boats here today...
2010-10-20 "Johannes Mehserle's father put up the banners" by "anon": Johannes Mehserle's father that put up the banners.

2010-09-17 'Free Mehserle' Sentiment Displayed at Last Night's Giants Game" from "SFist" online journal

2010-09-16 "Free Johannes Mehserle? Really?"
by "sjsharktank"
This photo was taken on September 16, 2010 in  Mission Bay, San Francisco, CA, US, using an Olympus E-PL1.

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