To the Public:
We have received many requests for an interview from various news groups and reporters regarding the upcoming rally scheduled for Monday. It has been impossible to answer all requests due to the sheer volume, however we are releasing this press announcement in regards to Monday's events.
Contrary to what has been portrayed in the media, this rally is NOT about dividing communities, inciting a race war or a political debate. The Walnut Creek location was chosen primarily out of convenience to allow for a central location accessible to many from different communities all over the Bay area. Many reporters throughout our community, but especially the Contra Costa Times and http://www.facebook.com/l/
0c2fb25OSrP8u2wjpSPAhEWmYrg;, decided to leak this event to the community before speaking with any event planners, thus creating an angry stir with some individuals and groups. As a result of their negligent reporting and failure to properly convey the meaning for the rally early on, hundreds of angry and hateful comments have been reported by various people and the true meaning of this event has not been conveyed properly. For this reason, no interviews will take place that will allow anyone to misconstrue what was said and the entire press release will be available for all to see. Claycord.com
This rally is NOT about inciting violence, destruction, intolerance, hatred, racism, riots, or to upset the Grant family and their supporters. Rather, this is an opportunity for those in our communities to come together in peace to grieve and voice their support for a former Law Enforcement Officer, Johannes Mehserle and his family and friends. There is great support for Mr. Mehserle as well as for all other Law Enforcement Officers and we recognized that an avenue needed to happen to allow these individuals to express their feelings and offer others support and encouragement.
We do NOT believe that Mr. Mehserle intentionally took the life of Mr. Grant. We believe this was a tragic mistake that occurred while on active duty and one that could have been easily preventable if BART Police demanded its officers wear their tasers on the opposite side as their gun and be made to draw that taser with their weak hand. During the course of Mr. Mehserle’s trial, evidence and witness statements provided insight that truly showed the action was not intentional. No one believes that Mr. Grant deserved to be killed nor is anyone happy that this happened. Oscar Grants family and friends have lost someone that they loved. Johannes Mehserle’s family, friends and fellow law enforcement officials have also lost someone they loved, respected and admired, but healing and forgiveness is only going to take place in our community if we make way for dialogue and truly come to understand the pain on both sides.
Throughout the last 18 months, Mr. Mehserle and his family and friends have been the victims of politics and persecuted in the public eye. While we recognize that some individuals are angry and hurt at what occurred on January 1, 2009, no one in our community has taken the time to get to know the person Johannes is. He is not the cruel and racist person he has been portrayed to be. We believe as a group that if people would truly open their eyes, get to know him and his family as well as other officers, lay the race issue aside, and open way to dialogue, that healing in our community can take place and change can happen that can benefit both sides.
Furthermore, this rally is also to support all Law Enforcement Officers and to show our thanks and appreciation to them for the work they do in our communities. Our Officers have a very stressful and difficult job, but everyday they work around the clock trying to make our communities better and safer for everyone to the best of their abilities. Law Enforcement Officers are rarely thanked or appreciated for all they do for us. To thank our officers for protecting our communities is not as some people have stated, "a racist move" - police come in all shapes, sizes and colors.... This is to truly thank them for all they do for us and nothing more.
We hope that those of you that attend the rally on Monday will show respect for both sides and for the City of Walnut Creek and the officers on duty. We ask that you resist name calling and intimidation, remain peaceful and truly allow a dialogue to take place that will promote healing for everyone. Let us know who Oscar Grant was. Ask who Johannes Mehserle is and get to know him through the people who know him. Talk with officers and get to know how they feel about their jobs, their communities, what they go through on a daily basis, how our officers can better serve you and vice versa. This rally is about opening doors of communication and setting aside our differences to promote tolerance and peace within our communities.
For those of you with ulterior motives in mind to cause harm to anyone, incite riots, violence, or destruction, we ask that you do not bring that mentality to this rally. Rather, we ask you to be respectful of those who want to be heard, regardless of whether their opinions and feelings align with yours or not.
We thank everyone for their support and look forward to Monday's event.
Rally Support Coordinators
July 16, 2010
Mehserle Rally Organizers Say They Want Peace, Not Hatred at Monday's Rally
Organizers of the rally Monday in Walnut Creek to show support for former BART police officer Johannes Mehserle are declining requests for interviews and won't identify themselves. Instead they have issued a press release, which they hope clears up the intent of their rally which is scheduled to take place 2 to 5 p.m. Monday at the Walnut Creek courthouse on Ygnacio Valley Road.
Posted by Martha Ross at 10:25 PM