Over the weekend, Superior Court Judge Robert Perry sentenced former BART offier Johannes Mehserle to a minimum term of two years in prison after Mehserle was caught on tape shooting Oscar Grant in 2009. Mehserle, who faced a maximum of 14 years, maintains that he mistakenly drew his gun instead of his taser when he shot Grant. In the wake of protests and demonstrations—some of which have turned violent—Bay Area emcee, Mistah FAB offered his take during an interview with Youth Radio.
“It’s timely for leaders of the community to come out and voice their opinions,” FAB said. “Not necessarily to have a coalition of trying to cool it, but to let people know that we’ve been affected. I have a daughter, she has to grow up in these same communities. Many of my friends have sons; I have many peers and friends and a lot of the young guys are involved in things where they can easily be stereotyped. These are my friends. These are people that I mentor, and it can happen to them. Any one of us can be Oscar Grant.”
While speaking with the San Francisco Gate, Oakland Police Spokeswoman Holly Joshi said the department was mindful that some protests led to violence, and that more officers would be on duty near the downtown area. In the wake of Mehserle’s July 8 verdict, 78 people were arrested.
“It’s embarrassing; it’s a slap in the face,” FAB added. “You have all right to be frustrated. But also be mindful that everybody is not guilty for that. Every cop doesn’t have that same mentality, so be mindful of what you do. So think, because you don’t want to be another Oscar Grant.”