Thursday's Briefing: BART investigators did not believe Mehserle's explanation in Oscar Grant killing

Ghost Ship trial: Defense argues warehouse fire was an act of arson


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A report released Tuesday shows BART investigators were skeptical of BART cop Johannes Mehserle's explanation for killing Oscar Grant at Oakland's Fruitvale BART station in 2009. A report released Tuesday shows BART investigators were skeptical of BART cop Johannes Mehserle's explanation for killing Oscar Grant at Oakland's Fruitvale BART station in 2009.

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News you don't want to miss for May 2: 

1. One of the major sticking points that followed the 2009 killing of Oscar Grant at Fruitvale station in Oakland was whether BART police officer Johannes Mehserle intended to pull a taser out of his holster instead of his handgun. A decade-old investigation, released Tuesday, showed BART Police had questioned Mehserle's explanation, KQED reports. It also lays blame on a second BART cop, who the report asserts acted as a catalyst that "started a cascade of events that ultimately led to the shooting." 

2. Ghost Ship trial: "The defense lawyer for Ghost Ship warehouse master tenant Derick Almena alleged on Wednesday that the fire at the warehouse in Oakland in 2016 was an act of arson that Almena couldn't have prevented and asked jurors to find him not guilty," NBC Bay Area reports. 

3.Oakland charter school principal Ben Chavis, who ran the American Indian Model Schools, received one-year probation and a $100 fine in a deal with federal investigators, SF Gate reports. Chavis was facing six felony charges of mail fraud and money laundering, and potentially significant jail time. 

4. Union members marched in Oakland to recognize May Day, the International Workers Day, KTVU reports. The workers, clad in hard hats, rallied in an effort to urge Oakland officials to enact local hiring rules for city construction projects. 

5. Sen. Kamala Harris was the star of Senate hearing in Washington on Wednesday, roughly questioning Attorney General William Barr. “Has the President or anyone at the White House ever asked or suggested that you open an investigation of anyone? Yes or no, please, sir.” This should have been easy, but Trump’s attorney general obfuscated and fell apart from there," Rolling Stone reports. 

6. The solid Democratic Party majority in Sacramento should make this an era of significant progressive law-making, at least, in theory. But Laurel Rosenhall at CalMatters writes that new powers given this year to Democratic-led Assembly committee chairs has often led to "No hearing, no debate, no vote." 

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