Like nearly everyone else, Colorlines questions the verdict:
Oscar Grant Verdict: What’s Inside the Jury’s Ruling
The awkward ruling, which came after just under nine hours of deliberation, appears to both accept the defense case that Mehserle pulled his gun on accident and reject it, by adding a sentencing enhancement to the conviction for intentionally using a gun. It also accepts the defense’s assertion that the Oakland transit police reasonably felt life-threatening danger from the unarmed group of Black men they arrested.
Ta-Nehisi Coates questions the policeman’s fear:
Cowardice and Policing
“Fear” is the common defense for officers who abuse the state-sanctioned right to brandish lethal force, excusing everything from the killing of Amadou Diallo to pulling a gun in the middle of a snowball fight. The question, however, remains: If you scare this easy, why are you a cop?
Adam Serwer questions all our fear:
Oscar Grant, A Victim Of American Fear
Times change, but the radioactive fear of black people, black men in particular, has proved to have a longer half-life than any science could have discerned. This is not a fear white people possess of black people — it is a fear all Americans possess. It makes white cops kill black cops, it makes black cops kill black men, and it whispers in the ears of white and nonwhite jurors alike that fear of an unarmed black man lying face down in the ground is not “unreasonable.”