they lay in the street mimicking Grant's position when he was shot - prone with his hands behind his back.
And one of the two featured photos was captioned:
Counterprotesters lie in the street with their hands behind their backs to illustrate the unarmed Grant's position when Mehserle shot him.
The problem with this is that the BART officer, Mehserle, testified Grant did not have both hands available to be handcuffed and that is why he decided to Tase Grant:
But when attempting to arrest Grant, the former officer testified that it turned into a brief struggle for the man’s hands.
“His hands were underneath him,” he said. “I wasn’t paying attention to his left hand, I was trying to get his right hand.”
Mehserle said he saw Grant’s right hand reach into his pocket.
“It made me question what his intentions were…I knew the right front pocket was a place where people kept–,” Mehserle then paused.
It was at this point the former officer said he decided to Tase Grant.
The attorney prosecuting the case (who wanted Mehserle charged with murder), Stein, also says that Grant didn't have his hand available to be handcuffed and explained why in this San Francisco Chronicle article (by the same reporter Demian Bulwa):
Stein said that before Mehserle fired his single shot, the prone Grant had tried to get his right hand behind his back to be handcuffed. However, the prosecutor said, officers had pinned him against the outstretched left leg of a friend, Carlos Reyes, who was also detained.
He referred to the TV screens, where footage of the shooting showed Reyes' leg moving a split second before the gunshot, and Grant's right arm coming back at about the same time.
The San Francisco Chronicle is treating as fact something that seems clearly false to me. It is inserting this propaganda in what is presented as a straight news story. Clearly, the judge, having heard the evidence, believed that the decision to Tase was appropriate under the circumstances when he ruled out murder as an option for the jury. And clearly the jury believed that the decision to Tase was appropriate under the circumstances when they convicted of involuntary manslaughter.
Here is the court's compilation of the eyewitness videos from cell phones. You can see from various vantage points and it is clear Grant was resisting being handcuffed.
I wonder if the attorney for the civil suit by Grant's family, Burris, is behind the attempts to create the belief that Grant was not resisting arrest. But why is the San Francisco Chronicle playing along?