portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article reporting portland metro

police / legal

Oscar Grant verdict sparks protest in Portland

At 10pm protesters marched from Peninsula Park occupying the streets and demonstrating against the police as a result of the verdict given to Oakland Police Officer Johannes Mehserle who killed Oscar Grant January 1st 2009. Portland, USA. 08/07/2010
Oakland BART police officer Johannes Mehserle fired a single shot in Oscar Grant's back and proceeded to handcuff him as he lay down in his own blood. What made this case so important is the overwhelming amount of evidence that was take by bystanders at the time. Although the police made every effort to confiscate any footage that would incriminate them and sweep yet another brutal case under the carpet, footage spread all over the internet and made the mainstream media. Riots ensued in the following days in Oakland and the police were unable to control the situation, forcing the Mayor and District Attorney to arrest and charge Mehserle.

Today Mehserle was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter and not 2nd degree murder, or 1st degree murder as many would have desired. Portlanders mobilised at short notice to speak out against the police and the fresh verdict, marching to Martin Luther King Boulevard from the park shouting, "ACAB - All coppers are bastards" amongst other terms. The police were all over the scene, monitoring beforehand from afar as people gathered for the event. A number of windows were smashed at a Bank of America on Martin Luther King Blvd. and at Portland Community College - Cascades Campus. At all times the police urged the protesters to move on to the sidewalk or they would be arrested whilst two bike cops led the plethora of police cars.

At one point I was threatened with arrest for taking a picture in the street and was told to move immediately away from the scene. It seems that press freedom is not on the cards for the police here, and this is an important issue if people are to know what is really going on in their local town or community. (See Vol. XXX, Issue 2 of The Portland Alliance for an article relating to Fortune 500 corporations owning all American Wire services).

Oakland is now in the eyes of America for the wrong reasons at a time when budget cuts in California will see many loose their jobs on the Oakland police force. The verdict today is another loss for communities against the police and the brutal tactics they choose to employ in the line of duty.

The protesters split up fairly rapidly at the end and at least 3 arrests were made.

homepage: homepage: http://www.demotix.com/users/alexmilantracy/profile

PCC? 09.Jul.2010 03:59


Why PCC? I know folks just want to smash stuff, but the Community College? That makes no sense at all.

broken 09.Jul.2010 07:22


The PCC windows may of been bank windows?

Not sure
But from how I read this I was interpeting it as bank winows at PCC

PCC target 09.Jul.2010 09:16


It was the PCC Cascade police / "public safety" station.

effective? 09.Jul.2010 15:58


I agree with the sentiments here, letting the cops know we stand in solidarity against them & their acts of violence but tipping over trash cans? breaking windows? i'm just not so sure that kind of stuff is effective. especially if those broken windows are repaired with OUR tax $$. food for thought....

let's get our facts straight 09.Jul.2010 17:03

community member

Before we get all worked up about how 'these were "PCC cops"... not "regular cops!" we should remember that Johannes Mehserle was a BART cop- the equivalent of a transit cop. Our qualm is not just with "regular" cops... whatever that means. Any armed security guard could detain someone and subsequently shoot them in the back. If you're armed and defending a government or corporate institution, it doesn't matter, you're a potential killer like Mehserle.

PCC Cops 09.Jul.2010 23:32

Jane Doe

PCC Cops are just as bad as "regular cops"! Cops are cops! They are subject to just as much corruption as any other cop. For some reason we tent to overlook cops that aren't regular cops like the transit cops, the library cops, the campus cops, airport cops etc!

We just watched a transit cop, who isnt a regular cop, get away with murder. These guys work for the same corrupt government as the rest of em. PCC Cops will just write more tickets to pay for the damage to their little "public safety" police station.

PS 17.Sep.2010 11:38


Isn't saying all cops are "corrupt" the same principal, as a cop saying all African Americans are criminals? A lot of you guys are kind of doing the same thing you're protesting against. It's kind of the pot calling the kettle black huh? Makes me laugh every time. I say if you think the police are so corrupt here, move to Russia, or Asia, or Africa, or Mexico, or South America. You'll see how easy we have it here. A lot of you guys seem to forget about the human factor. Not all of us are good, but not all of us are bad. So stop using blanket statements. It makes you look just as stupid, as the cops that screw up.