Police officer who killed Oscar Grant free, some protesters still face jail

originally by: Truthout
19th June 2011

Johannes Mehserle, the former BART police officer who shot and killed Oscar Grant while he was lying face down on the Fruitvale station train platform on New Year’s Day 2009, was released from a Los Angeles jail June 13 after serving a total of 365 days for his involuntary manslaughter conviction. He was sentenced to two years behind bars, but Judge Robert Perry granted him an early release due to credit for time served and good behavior.

The same date of his release, the National Lawyers Guild filed a class-action lawsuit on behalf of 150 protesters who were mass-arrested during the Nov. 5, 2010 demonstration in Oakland in the wake of Mehersle’s sentencing.

Meanwhile, a handful of individuals who engaged in the Jan. 14, 2009 and July 8, 2010 protests launched by Grant supporters — which morphed into riots after community rallies came to an end — are still battling court cases.

Two of the protesters arrested last July initially faced serious felony arson charges for igniting a trash can, which could have led to incarceration for a longer duration than Mehserle served for fatally shooting Grant.

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