Here are two videos and photos of the Oscar Grant shooting by a BART station police officer in Oakland, California. The incident of a police officer shooting an unarmed black man has resulted in escalating riots in the city of Oakland.

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Oakland Riots

The riots in Oakland have centered around the city’s three downtown BART train stations, As a consequence, they have been closed for stretches and the city has experiences the usual vandalism that accompanies civil unrest such as smashed windows and overturned cars. 100 people were arrested overnight while Mayor Ron Dellums, himself African-American, has been slow to appreciate the crisis.

Still, despite the perceived similarities between this video and the Rodney King beating in Los Angeles, the Oakland riots have paled in comparison.

BART police are different than Oakland police, something the rioters do not seem to understand. They police the entire transit system in the Bay Area as part of an independent transit authority. It is a BART police officer who shot Oscar Grant, not the Oakland police officers who were also present. Despite good training standards, most of them function like security guards and are unaccustomed to confrontations.

The videos are disturbing as is always the case when you see someone shot. They are also very unclear, so it is premature to draw too many conclusions from them.

The officer who shot Oscar Grant, 27-year old Johannes Mehserle, reportedly refused to cooperate with the internal BART investigation, probably on the advice of attorneys. He resigned from his job earlier this week. So as of now, the public only has one side of a story which ultimately may not have a strong second side. Any justification by Johannes Mehserle will wait for later, perhaps for a trial or plea agreement.

As usually happens, justice will be served via the legal process in Oakland which is stacked against the police. Still, people riot when they feel the establishment will not serve their needs. That is a false impression in Oakland as it is in most inner cities. And that unfortunate problem is mostly the fault of civil leaders and community organizers who preach a victimization mentality. Barack Obama is in a unique position to speak forcefully about this issue, but will he rise to the challenge?

As biographical information, Oscar Grant III was a 22-year old African-American resident of Hayward, California, which is the adjacent city directly south of Oakland.

Videos and photos below:

Photos of Oscar Grant shooting:

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Oscar Grant BART Shooting Photos

Videos of Oscar Grant shooting:

Oscar Grant (Video 1)

Oakland BART shooting (Video 2)

We will have riot videos later so bookmark and return.