Cephus Johnson Urges Unity in Marin City

Cephus Johnson and his wife Beatrice X, representatives of the Oscar Grant Foundation, spoke at the Unity Day in Marin City on Nov. 14, urging the audience to take responsibility to love and care for the community.

It is unity that strengthens the community to get through those painful times that many are experiencing, he said.

Beatrice X said people have to get back to love and learn to love and respect each other, she said

Men need to stand up to support and protect the community and should not always rely on the police. Women and boys are in the prisons because men are not taking care of their families.

Cephus Johnson is the uncle of Oscar Grant III, who was fatally shot by a BART Police Officer in December 2009. He founded the Oscar Grant Foundation to develop a Family First Responders Crisis Team.

For families families that are suffering a crisis, the foundation offers comfort, needs assessment, emergency counseling, and resource referral information, assisting them through the initial aftermath of a traumatic event, especially one sustained at the hands of law enforcement officer.

Asked about the Chaka Grayson shooting in Marin City, Johnson said the foundation has a team of attorneys that deals with police shootings cases. His suggestion was to hold a town hall meeting, where the attorneys can discuss the issues and about what can be done to help a community come together to identify and sort out these issues.

Change will have to come from the community itself, said Beatrice X. “It going to have to come from the community collectively. You are going have to unite to fight,” she said.

“You also have to know your rights when you are stopped by the police,” said Johnson. Even if one is alone in a situation, he or she can use the law, take action, document the evidence and can get some leverage to perhaps win the case, he said.

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