Today is the day when the sentencing of Johannes Mehserle for murdering Oscar Grant is going to go down.  We don’t know what the sentence will be, or whether Judge Perry will honor defense attorney Michael Rains’ request and throw out this trial to have a new one.  What we do know, and by this we I mean the people in the city of Oakland, those involved making sure people know what the issues are around the trial, and those who know what fairness and equity should be: This is a time to stand for justice, for community  and for ourselves.
My personal hope for the sentencing today is the Johannes Mehserle wlll receive a sentence that fits his crime and that shows race is not a factor in justice.  However, since race is a factor in justice, Mehserle will possibly not receive that just sentence. In fact, he will very likely receive a sentence that makes many of us ask whether justice was served.

My hope for Oakland as we go through today is that we can stand together for justice, and for community. Whether you choose to go to the peaceful gatherings to honor Oscar Grant’s memory happening downtown starting at noon, or you go to other gatherings, or follow along at home, there are two things I hope you keep in mind:

  • We know what justice is, and the memory of Oscar Grant and his family deserve to receive justice in this case.
  • We know what community is, and we stand as a community during this time–many communities, to be exact.

And we know what is right. And what is right is not to let us be torn apart by what is wrong–and this sentencing may come out to be VERY wrong–but to call it out by its name, and to push and move for change.

Oakland Local’s mission is to show how media fits into the mix of social change in community, and to teach and empower others to have a voice online so they can be heard.  In that spirit, today you can follow news of the Mehserle sentencing from our reporter in LA, Thandisizwe Chimurenga, who will be tweeting from the handle Oscargranttrial  .

You can also read about what’s happening here on Oakland Local, both as it happens, and over time. We will post news and updates and links to others as we get them.

A last thought from the folks at Cycles Bikery:

“hope to see ya’ll here in a few hours. feeling deep sorrow, knowing no sentence and no jail will bring justice to the loss of Oscar Grant‘s life, to so many folks killed by police, here in the bay and beyond.”


Twitter news: Oscargranttrial and Oaklandlocal and @youthradio for news

A day to honor Oscar Grant, Friday, November 5 (Community Voices): News about today’s rally[-A live art show is planned 2-4 p.m. at
Oakland City Hall, followed by a two-hour program.

Right before the storm: An intimate look at Oscar Grant’s family (Reflection) 

Past coverage:


About The Author

Susan Mernit is editor & publisher of Oakland Local ( a news & community hub for Oakland, CA. A former VP at AOL & Netscape, & former! Yahoo Senior Director, Mernit was consulting program manager for The Knight News Challenge, 2008-09; was a 2012 Stanford Carlos McClatchy Fellow; and is a board adviser to The Center for Health Reporting at USC, Annenberg School of Journalism. She has consulted with many non-profit organizations on strategy, product development and social media/engagement, including, TechSoup Global, Public Radio International and the Institute for Policy Studies/Economic Hardship Reporting Project, led by Barbara Ehrenreich.