This week’s East Bay Express contains an examination of some of the “new Oakland;” the real estate development known as the Uptown. Unfortunately for lawmakers and current residents, the Uptown isn’t drawing new blood to Oakland in spite of LEED certification, “a 24-hour concierge, a state-of-the-art gym, access to Zipcar service, a game room, pool and spa, an on-site Oakland Police Department office, a chef’s kitchen, and a private screening room, all available with a lease.” Click here to read the full article and reader’s comments.
I happened to visit the Uptown myself recently. The lack of rentals certainly isn’t for lack of landscaping. The Uptown’s “town square” features red bud (cercis canadensis) and tons of wisteria. The wisteria is young still and will take forever to mature, but I love the effort. Check it out:
Where the wisteria will grow
A row of red bud
Red bud up close, the Uptown in the distance
This is a big, big deal. People in the Bay are outraged. It is important that the extreme actions taken by law enforcement be made more than just local news. Knowing the ARL has some far and away readers, I hope that posting this here will spread the word beyond the Bay, and increase the demand for an independent investigation of this incident through national attention.
BART rider belly-down when shot, lawyer says
Bob Egelko, Chronicle Staff Writer01-03) 15:34 PST — The 22-year-old man killed by a BART police officer early New Year’s Day was lying face-down on the train platform, his hands behind him waiting to be cuffed, when he was shot in the back, a lawyer newly hired by the man’s family said Saturday.
Attorney John Burris said in an interview that a number of witnesses to the shooting at the Fruitvale Station in Oakland have told him Oscar Grant was posing no threat to the officer or anyone else when he was fatally wounded. The shooting occurred around 2:15 a.m. after police responded to a report of a fight on a train bound for Dublin/Pleasanton.
“If it happened the way the (witnesses) said it happened, he’s on his stomach, his hands pulled up behind his back, he’s compliant, the officer is standing over him and all of a sudden he shoots,” Burris said. “The bullet went through his lower back, hit the ground and ricocheted through the upper part of his body.”
The witnesses told him police handcuffed Grant after he was shot, but removed the cuffs just before news reporters arrived, Burris said. No weapons were found on Grant or anyone else involved in the altercation on the train.
Grant, of Hayward, died at Highland Hospital in Oakland several hours later. BART officials say the officer who shot him, a BART police officer for almost two years, has been placed on administrative leave during an investigation. He has not been publicly identified.
…Burris said BART police stopped the fight and took Grant and several others into custody. Officers were armed with stun guns as well as pistols, Burris said, and a witness said Grant cried out, as he lay on the platform, “Please don’t Tase me, I have a 4-year-old daughter.”
5 Things You Can Do Right Now About the Oscar Grant Shooting
by Makani Themba-Nixon
1. Digg the story so that the national media can pick up on it (Thanks, Jabari For this link): http://digg.com/world_news/Oakland_Police_Officer_Shoots_Unarmed_Man_Handcuffed_Man
2. Contact BART Director Carole Ward Allen and demand that 1) the officers involved be taken off duty without pay and charged and fully prosecuted; 2) there be an independent investigation of the shooting that includes a review of training and hiring practices; and 3) BART establish an independent residents’ review board for the police Call her at 510-464-6095 or email the BART Directors at BoardofDirectors@bart.gov
3. Call the BART police to complain about the officers’ conduct and demand immediate action:
Internal Affairs: Sergeant David Chlebowski 510.464.7029,email@example.com
Chief of Police: Gary Gee 510.464.7022, firstname.lastname@example.org
Call them toll free at 877.679.7000 and press the last four digits of the phone number you wish to reach.
4. Talk it up on your blogs, networks and talk radio shows (call Michael Baisden 877-6BADBOY or Rev. Al, etc. to get this on the national radar)
5. Stay tuned for other actions, protests, etc., especially if you are in the Bay.
For those who haven’t seen the horrific video take a look and note that this our tax dollars at work: