Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Robert Perry has just sentenced former BART police Officer Johannes Mehserle to two years in state prison. On July 8, a jury convicted Mehserle of involuntary manslaughter, with a gun enhancement, for the shooting death of Oscar Grant at the Fruitvale BART station in Oakland on Jan. 1, 2009. Mehserle faced a sentence ranging from probation up to 14 years incarceration. The incident itself was yet another one of those tragedies where multiple failures led to disaster: Mehserle had a history of unnecessary force, his force-on-force training was inadequate, he switched weapon positioning without retraining, etc. It is, perhaps, Mehserle’s lack of remorse for the killing that has angered Grant’s family, and the community, the most. The unanswered question: what (if anything) will BART do to avoid future killings, and will the new protocol put officer’s lives in danger?

5 Responses to Johannes Mehserle Gets Two Years for Involuntary Manslaughter

  1. This touches on the Subway post on this site from yesterday. Assuming Meserle did think he was holding his taser instead of his pistol (an unforgivable mistake if true), why was he tasing a guy that was being pinned down by 2 or 3 other officers? How much more restraining did this guy need? How much compliance does a citizen (particularly if they believe they are innocent or otherwise being unlawfully handled) need to exhibit? My fear is that since tasers leave less obvious outward signs of their use or the trauma they inflict (as opposed to a baton), that officers have become too cavalier in their application. I'm also uncomfortable with agents of the State being so easily able to render a citizen pseudo-unconcious and ultimatly compliant so easily and with, sometimes, too little provocation or cause. There's a not so fine line between an officer insuring his safety and an officer tasing a guy because he can kinda get away with it.

  2. When man bites dog, that's news. When a white cop kills a black man, that's usually an acquittal. Sorry to offend anyone, but I call it the way I see it, time after time after time.

  3. Those having huge protests over this should remember that in 90% of cases where cops are guilty, they totally get off. He WAS convicted and amazingly will server at least a year in state prison. He'll also never work in any kind of law enforcement.
    I can't comment on whether he should have gotten more time as I've not followed it closely.
    I appreciate "Zealot" well spoken comments.

  4. hi, im from Europe and what i can say is, it is the wrong way your whole public community and law goes and still allow weapons for anyone… that is the real Problem you have. faaned with hate on each side blacks/whites/asians/middle East your destroy your public society…

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