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Re: BART cop never committed murder

Posted by Nilet on Sun Nov 7 19:44:06 2010, in response to Re: BART cop never committed murder, posted by Broadway Lion on Sun Nov 7 12:00:40 2010.

Nilet RailroadThere are two separate issues hereó that there is systemic discrimination against black people, and that there is a widespread belief that police are (or should be) above the law. Both played a role. If Mehserle had killed a white man, he might have been let off because he was a cop. If Mehserle wasn't a cop, he might have been let off because the victim was black. Both are unfortunately common occurrences in our judicial system.

Which of those two issues is most important here is impossible to determine. It could be that they let him off because he was a cop and they believed cops are exempt from the law. It could be that they let him off easy because Grant was black, and they believed black people are so inherently evil and dangerous that it's acceptable to kill them even when they're handcuffed and on the ground. It could be that this killing was so grotesque and unjustifiable that they only let him off because he was a cop and Grant was black.

That doesn't change the fact that Mehserle's actions constituted second-degree murder, since Grant died as a direct result of Mehserle intentionally committing grievous bodily harm against him, nor the fact that the systemic racism inherent in our society makes it "less" of a crime to kill black people, nor, for that matter, the fact that police are widely held to be exempt from the law or any constraints of morality and society.

And it certainly doesn't change the fact that if you were black and I was a cop, I could probably kill you without facing any more severe criminal repercussions than Mehserle did.

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