Friday, July 9, 2010

Oakland outraged by Mesherle verdict: involuntary manslaughter

Ex-Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) cop Johannes Mehserle at work, January 2009.  

Oakland - Riots broke out in Oakland, California, on the night of Thursday, July 8th, after a Los Angeles jury in the Johannes Mehserle case reported a verdict of "involuntary manslaughter, with a gun."

Involuntary manslaughter calls for a 2 to 4 year sentence, "with a gun" seems to add 1, 3, 4, or 10 years, but reports of sentencing possibilities still vary widely, as attention turns to the upcoming August 7th sentence hearing, in Los Angeles.

Mehserle, a 28-year-old white ex-Bay Area Rapid Transit policeman, pulled his gun and shot Oscar Grant, a 22-year-old African American apprentice butcher and father of a four-year-old daughter, in the back, in the early morning hours of New Year's Day, 2009.   Video records show that Grant was prostrate on the BART platform, with hands restrained behind his back when Mehserle shot him.   The defense argued that Mehserle had mistaken his gun for his tazer.

Read more at Digital Journal,

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