Former BART Cop Convicted of Manslaughter
A Los Angeles jury today convicted former BART police Officer Johannes Mehserle of involuntary manslaughter for the shooting death of Oscar Grant a 22 year old unarmed African American male at the BART station in Oakland in 2009. They found he acted with criminal negligence when he fired a single shot into Oscar Grant's back at the Fruitvale Station in Oakland.
Jurors were given four options when the original panel began deliberations Friday. They could have convicted Mehserle, 28, of second-degree murder, voluntary manslaughter or involuntary manslaughter, or they could have acquitted him.
The involuntary manslaughter verdict indicates that jurors concluded that Mehserle did not intend to kill the 22-year-old Grant but had been criminally negligent when he drew his gun.
Mehserle testified he thought he reached for his Taser, not his firearm. He was remanded into custody. Oakland prepared for a mob scene following the verdict.
The San Francisco Chronicle says it's the right verdict: "There was no reason to use fatal force on Grant, who was being physically restrained at the time."
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