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Oakland Residents Rise Up to Protest Brutal Murder By Police

"As I write this, rumors are flying and media is fanning the riot flames."
 
 
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This piece was originally posted last evening at RaceWire, the blog for ColorLines.

As I write this, there are no less than six helicopters circling over downtown Oakland. On the first day of the 10th year since Amadou Diallo was brutally gunned down by police in New York City, Oscar Grant was fatally shot in the back by a BART police officer, and the event was caught on video.

As I write this, rumors are flying and media are fanning the riot flames -- car and trash fires, police in riot gear and tanks, restaurant windows being smashed, tear gas and rubber bullets being used. We won’t know the full picture till the night is over and the smoke clears, but the story of the successful nonviolent protest earlier this evening has been overshadowed by this angry chaos.

What is absolutely clear is that folks are furious about the slaying of Oscar Grant, furious that a week has passed with no statement or acknowledgment of what happened. What is clear is that we currently don’t have community accountability over our police here in Oakland. In this bubble of progress, we are hampered by the same brutal power dynamics that plague the rest of the nation. Racially driven policing that allows the use of lethal weapons in the pursuit of justice is a failed model.

What we need: