After a New Year's Eve fight on a train, a transit officer in Oakland shot a young man dead as he lay on the ground, reportedly incapacitated. Twenty-two-year-old Oscar Grant, a supermarket worker and father of a 4-year-old-girl, was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital.

The shooting has led to violent demonstrations and outrageous displays that have destroyed the private property of innocent people and put lives in danger. Emotions are through the roof:

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UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We live a life of fear, and we want them to be afraid tonight. We want them to understand we will mobilize, we are a community, and we are a voice.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We're not going to stop here. It's going to keep going. If you all don't give us what we want, it's going to keep going. And the (EXPLETIVE DELETED) that happened last night is going to keep happening.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It stops here. It stops with Oscar Grant. It stops with that cop who killed him. And if it doesn't, woe be unto everyone in this — in power. That's what I say because people are not going to stop.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The execution of Oscar Grant — and we need to call it what it is — the execution of Oscar Grant…

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Excellent, that's right.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: ...needs to be addressed.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I had no Christmas in my clothing store. I have never seen this happen before. Now who is going to want to come down on 17th Street when it's all boarded up?


There is no question that Officer Johannes Mehserle, who has quit the force, must be held accountable for his fatal action. The DA is investigating, and that is the way our system works. We do expect criminal charges to be filed, unless there's something unexpected that we don't know.

But these street riots accomplish nothing except anarchy. They punish the innocent.

There is also another side to this story. While outrage is surely justified in the death of Mr. Grant, there has been little outrage in Oakland over the astronomical violent crime rate there.

According to the national crime rankings, Oakland's murder rate is more than five times the national average. Its robbery rate six times the norm, and rape is 2.5 times higher than the average in Oakland.

The city has a drug-gang problem and downtown blight. Yet citizens have not taken to the streets over that, nor did they protest any of the 124 murders in Oakland last year.

Again, everybody knows American law enforcement officers cannot be shooting suspects who are helpless on the ground. No civilized society can tolerate that. But cities like Oakland should not be tolerating high crime rates either. The folks should be helping the cops combat that.

Selective outrage is in play here. High crime breeds police abuse. Riots are criminal acts. The good people of Oakland should do something about all this.

And that's "The Memo."

Pinheads & Patriots

Time now for "Pinheads & Patriots," starring just one guy tonight, actor Richard Gere, who depending on your point of view is either a major pinhead or a brave patriot.

After accepting a humanitarian award Thursday night in Los Angeles, Gere said this:

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RICHARD GERE, ACTOR/HUMANITARIAN: We changed the world, and then something happened. It all became selfish and rancid and silly and stupid, and we ended up with the last eight years that we've had in this country, which is almost over. We have a few days left.


But let's flash back. This is the same Richard Gere who opined this way shortly after the attack on 9/11.


GERE: This horrendous energy that we're all feeling, and the possibility of turning it into more violence and revenge, we can stop that. We can turn that energy into something else. We can turn it into compassion, into love. It's understanding.


GERE: That's apparently unpopular right now.


Apparently. Now, somehow I'm not feeling the love Gere should be directing toward the Bush administration, if he was indeed serious about treating the 9/11 killers with love and compassion, right? So in my view, Gere is a pinhead, but I could be wrong.

You can catch Bill O'Reilly's "Talking Points Memo" and "Pinheads & Patriots" weeknights at 8 and 11 p.m. ET on the FOX News Channel and any time on foxnews.com/oreilly. Send your comments to: oreilly@foxnews.com