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Paven Malhotra Fights Gag Order in Oscar Grant Case

First Amendment Coalition

Working with the California First Amendment Coalition, Paven Malhotra has asked a Superior Court judge in Oakland to rescind his gag order in the highly publicized prosecution of a former BART police officer who is charged with murder for the shooting death–captured on numerous cellphone videos uploaded to Youtube–of Oscar Grant III on New Year’s Day. Mr. Malhotra argues that the judge’s gag order “denies the press a key source of information on a matter of extreme and legitimate public concern.” Lifting the gag would pose no threat to defendant Johannes Mehserle’s right to a fair trial, according to the Coalition, while maintaining the gag denies the public its First Amendment right to crucial information “relating to allegations of police misconduct, ineffective or even dangerous police policies, inadequate training procedures and the relationship between police officers and the community they serve.