Let’s get a couple things straight here: There has been no real justice concerning the murders of Oscar Grant and Charles Hill by trigger happy BART police. And so the people protesting this should hunker down and continue their calls for justice.
I was talking to one man at the protest with a sign that read “Bart, Be Accountable.” I complimented him on his sign and then he said to me “Rodney King is still alive.”
His statement hit me hard. Consider the fact that the Rodney King beating set off huge protests/riots in LA, while the murder of Oscar Grant has yet to set off any such thing. Maybe this is proof that violent riots don’t get anything accomplished, but maybe it’s also proof that no one gives a shit about justice anymore.
Anyway, I went down to the BART protest last night as a free speech advocate. I didn’t have any plan other than to shame BART cops for shooting first and thinking later.
When I got to the Civic Center station, I got off the train and saw about 30 SFPDscattered throughout the platform decked out in riot gear – some with rubber bullets, and probably about 50 media people.
When the clock turned five o’clock I fully expected protestors to rush down the escalators and shut down the train. No such thing happened. By 5:05 I figured that I should probably start doing something. So I systematically approached each group of SFPD politely asking them for good jokes.
Nothing disarms people like humor, and the police should be more aware of this than anybody, but fortunately for me they aren’t.
Most cops tried to keep their icy stare of intimidation, but this has no effect on me since I know that on the inside they would really rather be cuddling puppies, tickling babies, or eating sweet corn or some such adorably innocent thing.
One cop actually bit and gave me this joke (imo – this joke sucks):
A mama mouse has three baby mice and is teaching them how to find food. So she tells them the different kinds of cheese there are and then tells them to go out and fend for themselves.
So the first baby mouse goes out and brings back a piece of cheese.
“What kind of cheese did you find?” Says mama mouse.
“I found a piece of swiss cheese – I know because it has holes and it smells like switzerland.”
Then the second baby mouse comes back with another piece of cheese.
“And what kind of cheese do you have? asks mama mouse.
“This is cheddar – I know because it’s smells sharp and is a triangle.”
The third baby mouse comes back with his cheese and declares that it’s nacho cheese.
“How do you know such a thing?” asks mama mouse.
“Because the dude I stole it from tried to grab me and said, “Hey mouse that’s not cho cheese!”
This is quite possibly the worst joke I’ve heard in a long time.
Anyway, I gave him a polite laugh and then asked him what free speech was. He didn’t know how to answer so I started asking all the other cops what free speech was. Eventually the media started crowding in and voices started to raise. Here’s the video I caught of what happened next:
The journalist was from the local fox news. Here’s the link to the piece he did
I wish my iphone had a longer video life but I bet your attention span isn’t long enough anyway.