Originally published on Youthradio.org, the premier source for youth generated news throughout the globe.
By Youth Radio Editor
LOS ANGELES -- The judge presiding over the Oscar Grant murder trial expressed "great concern" about how inaccurate media coverage of the trial is affecting community sentiment in Oakland, where Grant's shooting took place.
"You have to understand my perspective," says Judge Robert Perry on June 30th in a transcript of court proceedings obtained by Youth Radio, alluding to incorrect reporting on key trial events. Judge Perry:
This morning I dismissed a first degree murder charge. I made it exceedingly clear on the record that a murder charge was still in place in this case, that the defendant is facing a potential sentence of 40 years to life, not 50 years to life as a result of the court's ruling. In other words, it was a chipping off of 10 years of potential sentence. And yet, I'm told that there are several news media outlets in the Bay Area that are reporting that I dismissed all murder charges in this case.
At the time of Grant's shooting, Oakland residents and others expressed outrage through street protests about the incident and how it was handled by city government and law enforcement. Today local businesses are boarding up windows and preparing for possible unrest when Judge Perry announces the trial's verdict.
The inaccuracy of media reports is of great concern to this court, and I will hope that those erroneous reports will not inflame public sentiment incorrectly or cause problems for people. But you know, we are very concerned about keeping order in the court. This is a case of great interest and great emotion. It was a tragic case when it happened, it is a tragedy all the way through and there's no getting around it, and we're trying to do what we can.
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