WHAT CAPE WANTS AND WHAT WE BELIEVE
1. We want the immediate arrest, indictment, and prosecution of BART police officer, Johannes Mehserle for the murder of Oscar Grant III.
We believe Oscar Grant III was maliciously murdered, robbed of his human and civil rights, and killed , in part, because of his race, class, youth, and dress which constitutes a classic case of racial profiling at best and at worst , a systemic BART philosophy of harassment, intimidation and violence as regards it patrons and citizens.
2. We want the release of the names and suspension of all the officers accompanying Officer Mehserle on January 1, 2009 at the Fruitvale BART shooting until a thorough and comprehensive investigation has taken place.
We believe that Officer Mehserle’s actions were not a case of a ‘bad apple’, but indicative of a particular mentality and culture within BART police in particular and law enforcement in general that views young, black males as suspects, criminals, and enemies.
3. We want a public review of BART history, police policy, strategy, and philosophy to assess whether (A). BART police are really needed and (B). If needed, whether or not they need guns.
We believe that the BART police force operates from policies and attitudes that are biased, militaristic, and racist and this philosophy is manifested in the actions and attitudes of its officers. Consequently, we recommend a citizen review of all such policies with the intent of creating a citizen review board to monitor excessive force, supervise implementation of diversity training and conduct an analysis on whether funds allocated for police might best be used differently.
4. We want BART, in the spirit of restorative justice, to make community restitution, in part, by funding community based healing centers throughout the city for grief counseling, conflict resolution, and healing.
We believe that the murder of Oscar Grant III is the latest chapter and Oakland’s version of police, intra-community, terrorist and war violence that presently engulfs the planet. Only through concerted effort, understanding, and dedicated work and discipline can our city extricate itself from this madness. Institutions whose sole purpose is the healing of hearts (that have been wounded by violence) are needed throughout the world to show our communities, nation, and world that there is a better way.