State-sanctioned violence, murder by police, and the ways in which police murder is shielded from accountability and justice are not new. No Doubt: The Murder(s) of Oscar Grant is an attempt to examine this phenomenon through the lens of one case, the trial of former Bay Area Rapid Transit Police officer Johannes Mehserle for the murder of 22-year old Oscar Grant.
On Jan. 1, 2009, Oscar Grant was murdered for the first time; he would be murdered by the media and by the courts soon thereafter. Every last one of Oscar's murderers has gotten away with this crime. Mehserle, the triggerman, spent a combined total of 12 months in jail, doing less time than Michael Vick (sentenced to 23 months; served approximately 20 months) for running an illegal dog-fighting ring, and Plaxico Burress (sentenced to 24 months; served approximately 21 months) for shooting himself in the leg.
Feminist thinker bell hooks has often described the United States as being a "white supremacist patriarchal state." Although Black women are by no means spared from state-sanctioned violence, hooks' analysis speaks to the reason why that violence is most often directed against Black male bodies. As a witness to the state-sanctioned violence that was done to Oscar Grant before and during the trial of his murderer, it is important that the story of Oscar Grant's multiple murders be told, as well as the voice of the witness.
Ida B. Wells-Barnett took on the project of documenting numerous instances of state-sanctioned violence and aggressively organizing against it - nationally and internationally - through her writings, oratory and coalition work. No Doubt: The Murder(s) of Oscar Grant will stand as both testament to that work and as an extension of it here in the 21st Century.
What People Are Saying
“No Doubt” is the chilling and compelling story of the 2009 murder of 22-year-old Oscar Grant by a BART police officer. It is also the story of the ways in which racism and white privilege infect America’s criminal justice system, media and society, and encourage, perpetuate, and justify the oppression and devaluing of the lives of people of color. A breath-taking read that will break your heart, stimulate your rage, and hopefully motivate you to take action. ~ Jill Nelson, author, Volunteer Slavery, editor, Police Brutality: An Anthology
Oscar Grant was murdered for the first time on Jan. 1, 2009; he would be murdered by the media and the courts soon thereafter. No Doubt: The Murder(s) of Oscar Grant by Thandisizwe Chimurenga tells the story of these murders, and names the names of those who aided and abetted these crimes. www.triplemurder.com