[Ppnews] Support Bro. JR in Oakland Court Today

Political Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Mon Feb 23 11:07:38 EST 2009


Pack the courtroom, or call the Oakland D.A., to support journalist 
J.R. Valrey, who could face three years' prison time

The Alameda County D.A. is pursuing charges against journalist J.R. 
Valrey, KPFA Radio/Flashpoints, Block Report, and Side Show radio 
producer, and Associate Editor of the San Francisco Bay View, 
National Black Newspaper, with uncommon determination. Please come to 
support J.R. in court on Monday, 02/23/2009, and, if you can't do 
that, please call Alameda County DA Tom Orloff, (510) 272-6222. And, 
if you can, please forward broadly!!!

J.R. is facing felony arson charges for, allegedly, lighting a trash 
can on fire during the first protest following BART policeman 
Johannes Mesherle's fatal shooting of unarmed 22-year-old Oscar Grant 
at an Oakland BART station on New Year's Eve. Here is the section of 
the California State Penal Code specifying possible penalties for felony arson:

(d) Arson of property is a felony punishable by imprisonment in the 
state prison for 16 months, two, or three years.
<http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/cgi-bin/displaycode?section=pen&group=00001-01000&file=450-457.1>http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/cgi-bin/displaycode?section=pen&group=00001-01000&file=450-457.1

Johannes Mesherle, the former BART policeman who shot Grant, could 
conceivably do as little as two years in prison, if convicted of 
involuntary manslaughter, according to this section of the California 
State Penal Code:

(b) Involuntary manslaughter is punishable by imprisonment in the 
state prison for two, three, or four years.
<http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/cgi-bin/displaycode?section=pen&group=00001-01000&file=187-199>http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/cgi-bin/displaycode?section=pen&group=00001-01000&file=187-199

The charges Mehserle will be tried on still seem unclear, at least to 
me. A homicide conviction would lead to more prison time; a 
justifiable homicide verdict would set Mesherle free.

In any case, J.R. is facing extraordinarily harsh charges and 
conceivable penalties. He insists that he did not light a trash can 
on fire and was instead tackled by Oakland Police while leaving 
Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums' press conference. His lawyer has said 
that, even if he had lit a trash can on fire, these would be 
extaordinarily harsh charges.

Mary Ratcliff, Editor of the San Francisco Bay View Newspaper, asked 
me to circulate this call to support J.R. in the courtroom on Monday:

Pack Courtroom 112 on Monday, Feb. 23, 9 a.m., 661 Washington St., 
Oakland, to support JR of the Block Report, who's been framed with 
the charge of felony arson - of a trash can! He's innocent. He was 
covering the Jan. 7 Oscar Grant rebellion for the Block Report and 
the Bay View newspaper and had just left Mayor Dellums' press 
conference when he was tackled by two OPD officers. Two National 
Lawyers Guild attorneys witnessed the brutal arrest. He is the only 
journalist charged and the only one of some 130 protesters arrested 
that the OPD and DA seem determined to prosecute. They want to 
forever silence his critical coverage of police violence.

To learn more, go to 
<http://www.blockreportradio.com/>http://www.blockreportradio.com/ 
and <http://www.sfbayview.com/>http://www.sfbayview.com/ .



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