Johannes Mehserle sentenced in Oscar Grant shooting trial

Officer Johannes Mehserle
Officer Johannes Mehserle

originally published by:
published: 8th November 2010

Johannes Mehserle, the former Bay Area Rapid Transit cop who shot and killed Oscar Grant, a man who was being detained for a fight on a train on New Year’s Day 2009, has been sentenced to two years for involuntary manslaughter, according to the New York Daily News. The sentencing came down from Judge Robert Perry.

After the sentencing, riots and protests broke out all over California, with stores being broken in to and looted and areas around the state were also being vandalized. The family’s reaction to the two-year prison term was one of disgust, as they were hoping for the maximum term of 14 years for Mehserle, according to Yahoo News.

The judge came up with the limited sentence because he threw out a gun enhancement charge that would have guaranteed a much higher sentence. Mehserle claimed that he accidentally shot Grant when he meant to use a Taser instead. Grant was allegedly resisting arrest, and so a Taser would have been necessary.

This police brutality case has been compared to the Rodney King beatings in 1991, according to BBC News, because it has so polarized the state of California and the city of Oakland. The protesters and rioters out there right now should instead focus their energy on getting laws changed for the weapons that transit cops carry.

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