oakland | Page 2 | Not in Our Town


  The following is a personal perspective from Patrice O’Neill, executive producer of The Working Group. This week, just outside our office doors, hundreds of young people ran through the streets of downtown Oakland smashing windows and stomping on cars. The so-called “riot” was prompted by the killing of Oscar Grant, a 22-year-old African American man who was shot to death by a white Bay Area Rapid Transit system police officer. Several witnesses captured the killing on their cell phone cameras. They show Oscar Grant face down on the ground, surrounded by police officers. Officer Johannes Mehserle appears to pull out his gun and shoot Oscar Grant in the back. KTVU’s local news report features video of the police shooting. And check out an insightful take on the protests and riots on 38th Notes, an Oakland blog. If you were a young African American man, imagine how you would feel if you saw this video or witnessed this killing? It’s shocking to watch our community go through so much trouble. Like many who’ve had news-grabbing violence committed in their town, I feel like screaming, “This isn’t us!”